"Building Towards Butler County's Future"

State Route 4 Bypass Widening
posted July 21, 2011

Latest News
The construction continues to move along nicely. The eastern portion of Hamilton-Mason Road is now closed as construction of the related superstreet changes are completed. Several of the intersection structures have been put in place. These will hold all the related signage that will help motorists understand which lanes they need to be in. Completion for the sections between Symmes Road and Hamilton-Mason Road is scheduled for the fall. The TID submitted all the required documents on the Bridge widening project (Phase 5A). The project will be bid this week. Click here for simulation of how the Superstreet will work.


News from November 17, 2010
The construction phases are moving along nicely. Below are several photos of the construction under progress. The traffic will be switched over to the newly constructioned road around the beginning of December so that work can continue on the other side of the project. The Hamilton-Mason intersection is scheduled to re-open in both directions on Tuesday November 30. It will remain open until April of 2011. Then the east leg will close and the west leg will remain open.


Symmes Road intersection


Future Bobmeyer Road extension and bridge work.


From Hamilton Mason intersection looking south.


News from August 13, 2010
The Bypass 4 project has been successfully bid from the City of Fairfield terminus to north of Hamilton-Mason Road. The bids were significantly under the engineer's estimates, which helps reduce the local government shares on the project. For the TID's phases (Symmes through Hamilton-Mason), the contractors have complete a significant portion of the clearing and been moving dirt for several weeks now. The contractors have a significant amount of the earthwork done on the "new" western portio of the widened bypass. Below are some pictures of the work under construction at Phase 3, Tylersville Road.


Looking south on Bypass towards Tylersville Road


Area behind the shopping plaza NW corner


Looking north on Bypass from Tylersville Road

News from April 9, 2010
The construction season has started off well for the Bypass 4 Widening projects. Earlier this month, Phase 3 (includes the intersection of Tylersville Road) was bid by ODOT with John R Jurgensen Company as the successful bidder coming in ten percent less than the original estimate. The construction of this phase should be starting very soon. Phase I (Hamilton-Mason Road intersection) is set to bid on April 15. Phase 4, which is south of Symmes Road to the southern end will be bid out later this month also. The final phase under construction this year will be Phase 2 (Symmes Road) and is scheduled to be bid in July 2010.

The entire construction project will add a northbound and southbound lane from the southern terminus at State Route 4 to north of the Hamilton-Mason Road intersection. A significant part of the project will include creating superstreet intersections at Symmes, Tylersville and Hamilton-Mason Roads. You can view a stimulation of the traffic movement under Latest News on the left (or further down the page). The entire construction process for these four phases are expected to completed no later than early 2012.

The TID has submitted a funding application for the fifth phase of the project through the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments funding program. The phase will widen the existing bridge on Bypass 4 over State Route 129 and the respective ramps. The decision on whether the District receives the funding will be determine by June 2010.

News from July 27, 2009
The TID was successful in two applications for stimulus money related to the Bypass 4 project. Phase 2 (Symmes Road) and Phase 3 (Tylersville Road) sections will be fast tracked to take into consideration the federal money received for the project. The TID had already contracted with an engineer to start the process and has moved those designs up significantly. Discussions for right of way have commenced also as all those related parcels would need to be acquired for construction or utility relocation at the intersections. The main line of the road was originally built with a large scale in mind so right of way for those portions should very minimal. The TID believes that the federal money will help push the project up anywhere from one to three years depending on the related phase.

The TID's engineer has setup a website to help the public track the superstreet design and concept. You can view the site here. As the TID and ME Companies works on the design plans, we will continue to provide updates to the public. The first superstreet will be completed at Hamilton Mason Road at the Bypass estimated in 2010.

February 2, 2008
The Bypass 4 project has seen significant changes over the past year in design concepts. Due to increased traffic using the Bypass and what is anticipated through the study design years, the project will be designed using new alternative intersections. The intersections at Hamilton Mason Road and Symmes Road will be constructed using what is called a "Superstreet" alternative. The alternative will require those traveling on Hamilton Mason Road and Symmes Road to make a right turn at the intersection of Bypass 4 and then take make a U-Turn onto the opposite direction of Bypass 4 to be able to continue on Hamilton Mason or Symmes Road. The delays experienced at the intersection will be reduced significant and the amount of time it takes, overall, to get through the related intersections will be reduced. To see what the plan would look like click on the movie link below. The movie is at a higher speed but the concept is shown pretty well.

Movie displaying the superstreet alternative

For an excellent article written by the Board Chairman about what a superstreet is click here.

HISTORY OF WEBPAGE UPDATES BELOW

January 25, 2007
The City of Fairfield has selected an engineer to work on their portion of the Bypass 4 widening project that will be completed apart from the TID's project. The TID is working with ODOT on a revised scope that also takes in account the widening project that Fairfield Township is completing at the Hamilton-Mason Road intersection. The City of Hamilton and Fairfield Township have agreed to split the final engineering that is also being funded through the ODOT Grant money.

June 2, 2006
The TID continues to work the three local governments on funding issues for the engineering aspect of the project. The project is considered vital to Butler County and looked at as a worthy project by both OKI and ODOT but without the completed engineering the TID has been unsuccessful at securing TRAC funding.

As noted below, the TID did receive safety money for the Symmes Road intersection. This money will be used to offset a portion of the local government overall committment to the project. This money is available starting in July 2008. The TID also secured $1.2M in ODOT money to complete the engineering work. This money needs local government funding to receive the allocated share. The estimated cost to complete the engineering work is just under $2.4 million.

November 2, 2005
The TID presented the project to the Ohio TRAC Board and ODOT officials on Thursday September 22nd in Dayton. The project is currently ranked 11th highest in the state on the Tier I priority list and is anticipated to receive funding approval.

TID consultants prepared an application for ODOT highway safety funding with the intent of receiving assistance for safety upgrades at the intersections of SR4 Bypass at the Tylersville Road and Symmes Road intersections. If approved, this funding will apply to the local share (non-TRAC) funding for the project.

July 13, 2005
The TID has resubmitted the project for TRAC funding in the current cycle. The modified application includes a revised six lane alternative between Symmes Road and Tylersville Road since most of the traffic congestion occurs in that area. The OKI Regional Council of Governments has published their draft scores for the three local projects and the SR 4 Bypass scored the highest. OKI should approve these recommendations at their August meeting and forward them to TRAC for consideration.

News from February 22, 2005
TRAC scored the Bypass 4 widening project as a TIER II project. Although the TID would prefer TIER I status, TIER II was expected due to the timing of construction. At the February 2005 Board of Trustees meeting, Director Fonner spoke to the Board about splitting the widening project into two phases. One phase that would be locally funded and the other phase funded through ODOT's process. The local governments have committed $10 million to construction of the project. ME Companies is evaluating how the project can be split at this time. The TID will be submitting a revised TRAC application in May 2005, a requirement for any TIER II project.

News from September 13, 2004
The TID made a presentation before the TRAC Board on September 9 at the southwest Ohio public hearing. Hearings are scheduled throughout the state through October 21. The TRAC Board should make its funding recommendation in December and we anticipate the project being added to the list of TRAC Tier I projects. The current contract with ME Companies for environmental and preliminary design work is still advancing with workgroup meetings occurring to discuss the status of the project.

News from August 18, 2004
The TID is continuing the efforts of Stage 1 Design and environmental clearance for the proposed widening of the project. The TRAC application is being reviewed by TRAC committee while a presentation is being prepared by the TID for the local TRAC meeting on September 9.

News from June 22, 2004
The TID submitted an application to the Ohio Department of Transportation's Transportation Review Advisory Council (TRAC) for the project. The Ohio Kentucky Indiana Regional Council of Governments have scored the project as the region's preliminary number two project. Key factors in strong ranking were the traffic accident patterns, economic development impact and as a component of the Macro Highway Corridor System as described in Access Ohio.

The participating governments have agreed to commit to a $10 million local match for the TRAC application. The TID submitted the Bypass 4 widening application as a $24 million project. The additional costs for right of way, construction management, utility relocation and engineering of $4 million will also count as local match in the TRAC Application.

For those of you not familar with the TRAC process, the application takes into account several factors for "scoring" a transportation project. One of those factors is the amount of money the local governments are contributing to the project. A project receives points based on actual dollars contributed and also additional points for the local match precentage of the total project. For this project, if the local governments commit to $10 million plus the other mentioned items the total local share could reach 60% of the project, generating more points for the project.

In past funding cycles through TRAC, the highest scoring project received 44 points. There are several other factors that play a deterimant of the total points but we will not get into those here.

As mentioned below, the environmental work is progressing on the project. The workgroup believes by having all the preliminary items completed, the project will appear better than other projects that might be at step one of the process.

News from February 20, 2004
On February 19, the TID held the kickoff meeting for the environmental contract with the consultant and governmental agencies. A plan was designed for how the consultant would proceed with informational flyers and public notice. That information should be available shortly and can be found here (when available).

All the parties understand that advancing this step will be critical to future funding attempts for the actual construction. At this point, the TID still has not secured any funding for construction dollars to widen to the Bypass.

News from 10/17/03
The Board of Trustees authorized the TID Director to proceed in contract with ME Companies on the Bypass 4/Bobmeyer Road Environmental Project. ME Companies provided the most responsive bid to the scope that was provided.

The TID and local governments have worked out a financing agreement that will pay for the engineering costs of designing a four lane road with appropriate turns lanes for the length of the Bypass. The timing of the project is crucial to continued improvement for all local governments involved included the Butler County Regional Airport.

PROJECT HISTORY

Back in the 1970s, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) constructed the bypass around the cities of Fairfield and Hamilton for those people who wanted to travel from Cincinnati to Middletown and further north. We know this road as Bypass (State Route) 4. Over the years, the development in the two cities and surrounding townships has turned the bypass into a nightmare for local drivers. Some people believe it is faster to drive State Route 4 from Hamilton south rather than take the Bypass.

When the TID was created in December 1994, our initial project was the Michael A. Fox Highway. Part of that project was the creation of a "infrastructure improvement plan" for the surrounding transportation grid. One of those original projects focused on the Bypass. The project is still one of the top three projects on our list.

When ODOT constructed the Bypass originally they purchased enough right-of-way to eventually widen the road to four lanes if capacity would require it. Right-of-way is usually a major problem for road improvement projects throughout the State, but we will not have to deal with that obstacle.

The Bypass widening project lies within three main entities: City of Fairfield, City of Hamilton and Fairfield Township. These entities, along with Butler County and ODOT, will be crucial in moving this project to implementation.

The TID applied through the Surface Transportation Program for OKI funding of two phases of Bypass 4 widening project. Unfortunately, the application process was not successful. The TID still considers this project a vital improvement for Butler County and plans to move forward with the engineering and environmental work while pursuing other financing alternatives.

The TID has been working with the local entities to proceed with engineering and environmental work in relation to the widening project. The TID and local communities understand the importance of this project and preliminary work will need to be completed before any widening project could take place.

The Extension of Bobmeyer Road (Airport)

Old News
The Butler County Regional Airport has recently applied to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to modify their land use plan within the airport. The airport would like to expand their runways, add corporate buildings and make their outlots available for economic development. The City of Hamilton is currently trying to extend their Hamilton Enterprise Park south from Hamilton Mason Road to Tylersville with a connection into the airport.

We have been in discussion with the airport, City of Hamilton and Butler County as to what we can do to help them reach those goals listed above. As part of the land use plan, the airport submitted a call for the extension of Bobmeyer Road with a connection at State Route 4 Bypass. Having a link to a major road is an essential element for the airport becoming the centerpiece for the County.

We would also be involved in the road connection from the enterprise park to the airport for the City. The plan would be to create a corporate airport similar to Lunken Airport in Hamilton County. The potential for economic development around the airport is great but without the infrastructure improvements it will be very slow to come.

The FAA should be approving the land use plan shortly and with the potential for federal grants from various sources, the Airport could be a different vehicle for the County and surrounding Cities over the next two years.

 


www.BCTID.org


Last Updated: November 17, 2010