Wednesday, February 20, 2002

Road projects could cost $266M

Price tag is first firm estimate

By Steve Kemme
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        HAMILTON — An estimated price tag of $200 million to $266 million has been attached to seven road projects proposed for the north Hamilton/New Miami area.

        The cost estimates were part of a transportation study conducted by Balke Engineers for the Butler County Transportation Improvement District (TID).

        The study, unveiled Tuesday,concludes that some of the projects would ease traffic congestion, others would spur economic development, and some would do both.

        Communities interested in these projects have discussed them for years, but these are first firm cost estimates.

        “Clearly, the TID is not going to build all these projects,” said Richard Record, a principal with Balke Engineers. “They have to identify where the biggest needs are.”

        Officials in Butler County and communities with stakes in these projects — Hamilton, Fairfield, New Miami and St. Clair and Fairfield townships — will have to decide whether they want to pay for planning studies or to drop them.

        “The costs are very great,” said Mike Samoviski, TID executive director. “This will help communities decide whether they want to pursue any of them.”

        Funding is an especially large obstacle, with the current sharp decline in available federal and state money.

        Hamilton officials have been interested for years in building a bridge over the Great Miami River at Washington Boulevard and extending the road to Ohio 4. That would cost $32 to 43 million, according to the study.

        Extending it further to the Michael A. Fox Highway would add $11 million to $15 million to the project.

        Ralph Reigelsperger, Hamilton's public works director and a TID board member, said the data in the study will help city officials decide whether the project is feasible.

        Other projects:

        • The Wayne-Madison Road relocation from Ohio 4 and the Ohio 4 Bypass to the Miller Brewing Co. near Trenton — $30 million to $54 million.

        • Great Miami River corridor connector from the Washington Boulevard extension to the relocated Wayne-Madison Road — $30 million to $40 million.

        • An upgrade and expansion of B Street/Trenton Road/US 127/Jacksonburg Road from Hamilton to the proposed Ohio 63 extension near Seven Mile — $46 million to $48 million.

        • An expansion of the Ohio 4 Bypass from Ohio 4 to the Michael A. Fox Highway from two lanes to four lanes — $11 million to $13 million.

        • An alternate Washington Boulevard extension from the proposed bridge to the proposed relocated Wayne-Madison Road — $40 million to $53 million.


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