Friday, December 13, 2002

Cox Road finally loses hated array of barrels

By Jennifer Edwards
The Cincinnati Enquirer

WEST CHESTER TWP. - One of the Tristate's newest traffic jam areas got some relief Thursday.

After months of widening and related construction, Cox Road reopened to Hamilton-Mason Road, offering some relief to gridlock at the Tylersville-Cox intersection near I-75.

The disappearance of the orange barrels signals the end of the $4.3 million county project that began in April and originally was slated to wrap up by the end of November.

"This is outstanding. It's about time," West Chester Administrator Dave Gully said.

In the spring, workers still need to pave the final surface course and complete line striping and raised pavement markers, said Chris Petrocy, spokesman for the Butler County Engineer's Office.

The traffic signal at Cox and Tylersville roads also needs to be reconfigured with four new signals along Cox.

The former two-lane road was widened from five lanes north from Tylersville Road to Hamilton-Mason Road , even as commercial development burgeons in the area adjacent to Interstate 75.

Major businesses include a $100 million medical campus that recently opened, and a 500,000 square-foot Target shopping plaza expected to open in July.

The Cox Road widening will provide some relief to Tylersville, which is receiving a 500-foot-long turn lane on the north side of the intersection. Tylersville carries an estimated 53,486 vehicles per day at I-75, according to a June traffic count.

But county engineers have conceded that the area's tremendous growth will have Tylersville jammed again before long.

Cold weather delays and quibbling between county leaders and township trustees over a now-demolished 115-year-old schoolhouse delayed the project.

"We were to the point where the weather got so cold so early, it did slow things down," Mr. Petrocy said.

Construction costs ran about $250,000 over budget because of the schoolhouse debate, Butler County Commissioners have conceded.


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