Saturday, February 8, 2003

Study next phase for Rybolt Road extension

By Angela T. Koenig
Enquirer contributor

GREEN TOWNSHIP - A plan to reconfigure Rybolt Road, near the heavily congested Interstate 74 and Harrison Avenue interchange - is moving forward.

"It's going to ease the traffic problem and help us better handle the traffic that hits that area," Township Trustee Tony Uptonsaid of a collaborative plan between the township and Hamilton County engineers to address traffic here that often leads to backups onto I-74.

The plan is to add an extension, or "swing arm," onto Rybolt Road, about 900 feet south of the interchange. The arm would allow Rybolt motorists to access Harrison Avenue via Hearne Road and vice versa. The existing interchange would remain intact, however.

"It would give drivers the option to bypass that little link that's causing so much trouble," at the interchange, said Chief Deputy Hamilton County Engineer Ted Hubbard.

Trustees voted 2-1 to endorse the estimated $4 million project last November. The next phase, which could begin as early as this month, Hubbard said, is hiring a consultant to oversee an engineering study. The study is a precursor to applying for state funding.

Township Administrator Kevin Celarek said the township contribution would be 25 percent of the total right of way and construction costs, not to exceed $1 million. The county, he said, would contribute 25 percent.

The township's contribution, officials said, would be funded by tax increment financing (TIF).

"If everything falls into place, construction could begin as early as 2004," Hubbard said.

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