Interchange Project History
The Liberty Interchange, its formally adopted name, is the extension of
the Michael A. Fox Highway (SR129) from its terminus at Interstate 75
eastward. The project also involves extending Cox Road from Hamilton Mason
We have been
getting questions about where the "new" road is going to be
located. We are in the initial study phase for the project as it relates
the North-South Initiative Study being completed through the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana
Regional Council of Governments (OKI). This OKI report on the Interstate
75 corridor will be released next spring and the Liberty Interchange should
be one of the recommendations.
We have received
clearance from the Ohio Department
of Transportation (ODOT) to proceed with environmental work relating
to the Liberty Interchange. ODOT is once again helping the TID move a
project along faster since the environmental studies typically begin at
the conclusion of the preliminary study. This step can save up to eight
months in the planning stages for the Interchange. The Board of Trustees
approved a contract for Resource International to start the aerial mapping
and environmental (categorical exclusion) work on the interchange project
at the October 14 meeting.
We have developed
a work group for the project. Similar to our efforts with Union Centre
Interchange and the original Michael A. Fox Highway project, the workgroup
is a collaboration of affected entities with participants from Liberty
Township, Butler County
and ODOT being vital parts of this group.
In August 2002,
the University of Cincinnati completed an economic impact study for the
interchange area. The study shows the potential jobs to be created, the
immediate financial impact and additional financial impact the interchange
project will generate. The report can be viewed here.
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Interchange was approved by OKI to be included in the long range plan
and also the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). The project is
still in the initial development phases. Recently, the Board authorized
our consultant to proceed with the environmental work and aerial surveying
work. There are still no alternative layouts for the full interchange
at this point.
As the TID
develops a more detailed idea of where the alignment for the project will
lie, we will continue to update the information. The effect on the current
transportation grid will also be addressed.
News from 11/17/03
The TID and Liberty Township met with the stakeholders on October 16 for
selection of the preferred alternative. The stakeholders were presented
with the alternatives and their ability to meet the problem statement
goals. The Township Administrator made the presentation with what was
determined to be the preferred alternative. After some discussion, the
group unanimously decided that a Collector/Distributor to
Hamilton-Mason Road with a Cox Road Extension was their
alternative was presented at the Public Information Meeting on October
23, 2003. Comments have been reviewed and addressed that were generated
at the Public Information Meeting. The final report has been sent to the
State for review and once their approval is received the report will be
forwarded to the Federal Highway Administration (FHA). FHA must approve
the plan to allow the modification.
The TID continues work on the Interchange Modification Study and various
environmental studies that are part of an interchange on the federal highway
system. This process can take up to twenty-four months to complete depending
on different environmental impacts encountered during the process.
February 20, 2004
The TID approved several resolutions related to the Liberty Interchange
on Monday February 9. Those resolutions were approved pending approval
from the Liberty Township trustees, which occurred the following Thursday.
The two keys
resolutions were the Board approving the engineering contracts with Resource
International for the 3 phases of the interchange project. The Board decided
to pursue the project in 3 phases:
Phase A: Cox
Phase B: Improvements to Hamilton-Mason Road
Phase C: New Interchange.
With the engineering
contracts being approved, the contractor has started work on the design
of Phase A. With no utility issues on Phase A, we are hopeful to start
construction on that section sometime in 2005. Phase B will be next but,
with utility relocation and additional right of way purchases, looks to
be a 2006 construction project.
June 23, 2004
The TID has submitted staged design (through the new step 6) for the project
to the District for review. The stage 1 design of the Cox Road Extension
is also under review through the Butler County Engineer's Office.
September 13, 2004
Plans for the Cox Road Extension and Hamilton-Mason Road are progressing
in anticipation of construction beginning in Spring 2005. The TID, Liberty
Township and BCEO have met with several land owners and developers regarding
access and other right of way issues.
October 11, 2004
Comments have been received from the Butler County Engineer's Office for
the Cox Road Extension and revisions are being made by the consultant.
The plans for the Hamilton-Mason Road design were submitted on October
8. The TID anticipates starting the right of way acquisition process by
year end. Currently, the TID is having a review completed for the project
expense estimates. There has been concerned expressed about both the TID's
projected revenues and expenses for the interchange related projects.
February 22, 2005
The TID has submitted the design plans for Hamilton-Mason Road improvements
to the utility companies for initial review and coordination work. The
project has been split into four phases. (1)Hamilton-Mason Road East -
From I-75 to Butler-Warren Road and (2) Cox Road plans should be completed
by the third quarter of 2005. (3) Hamilton-Mason Road West - I-75 to Cincinnati-Dayton
Road - plans are anticipated for first quarter 2006.
July 13, 2005
The TID continues to work on the engineering design for the Hamilton-Mason
Road improvements with some title and right-of-way work being completed.
The environmental document for the interchange continues to move along
in the process. The TID will provide more detailed information as it becomes
available. The TID has linked three design sheets related to the proposed
Liberty Interchange configuration alternative with Hamilton-Mason Road
overpass. There is also a property map of the intersection with Cox Road.
Click this link design files to access the appropriate page.
December 16, 2005
The TID is now the owner of just over 21 acres on the eastern section
of the project. The TID is currently evaluating options on whether to
bid out the sale of the property on the northern side of Hamilton-Mason
Road or keep it until the specific right of way necessary is determined
for the project. The engineering and title work on the Hamilton-Mason
Road sections of the project is moving along as scheduled. At the November
2005 Board of Trustees meeting, a motion was passed to suspend the remaining
engineering on the Cox Road extension until the financing of that aspect
is completed. The actual engineering and environmental work on the interchange
proper is moving forward and on schedule.
has seen additional development in the area with the acquisition by Cincinnati
Children's Hospital to the northwestern part of the project along with
the new Kroger store under construction.
will be holding three public meetings on the Joint Economic Development
District that will help finance the project. For details on those meeting
please to Liberty Township's website contained in the links section of
July 2, 2006
The TID continues
to work with the local officials and staff on project funding. The TID
has decided to complete the Cox Road Extension as an assessment project.
The TID is seeking job-sites ready grant money for the area. The TID is
continuing with engineering the entire project and working on obtaining
right-of-way for the interchange proper by the end of 2006.
January 7, 2007
The TID is working on
financing the construction of the interchange and the related improvements
to Hamilton-Mason Road. The TID is expecting the financing to close at
the end of February. The bonds will be secured through intergovernmental
agreements with the Butler County Commission and Liberty Township. The
TID is still working on right-of-way acquisition. The previous deadline
by ODOT has been cancelled as the interchange project will be bid as a
separate project to the widening of Interstate 75. The TID is awaiting
on final approval of the related environmental documents expected in the
first quarter of 2007.
May 31, 2007
The TID has completed
the financing of the Liberty Interchange with the closing on the highway
improvement bonds in February. Special thanks needs acknowledged to our
local government partners: Liberty Township Trustees, Butler County Commission
and West Chester Township Trustees. Without the support and pledging of
revenue from their various sources, the financing and rating on the bonds
would not be possible. The TID says THANK YOU to them.
Now with the
financing completed, the TID has turned the focus to acquiring right of
way. The TID has secured one parcel within the interchange area on March
16 and recently another on May 30. The TID continues negotiating with
all property owners in the area. Our enginnering firm is wrapping up the
construction drawings for the project. The Hamilton Mason Road plans are
final from Cox Road to Butler-Warren Road and the TID is in the process
of preparing for bidding the project.
News from April 10, 2008
On April 2, 2008 the Liberty Interchange proper (overpass,ramps and limited access on Hamilton-Mason Road) was bid at a price of $14.3M to John R. Jurgensen Company. The TID is very happy with the bid price as it works well with our budget. To date the TID has had successful bids on the Cox Road Extension, Hamilton Mason Road East and the Interchange Proper. The TID will be bidding the Hamilton Mason Road West project later this year. The beginning of April also marked Federal Highway's approval of the environmental document. This was critical to bidding the interchange project. The whole project (all phases) is expected to be completed by the fall of 2009.
On December 15,
2008, the Board of Trustees passed a resolution to accept the bid from John R. Jurgenson for construction
on the Hamilton Mason West project. The total bid was just under $5.8 million with construction expected to start
on or about January 5, 2009. The project's completion date is targeted for October 1, 2009. Traffic will be
maintained throughout the construction. This timeline fits in nicely with ODOT's timeline for completion of the interchange
project. The TID needs to have all local roads improved before ODOT will allow the new interchange to open to motorists. Over the weekend,
ODOT switched the movement of traffic on south bound Interstate 75 to the new ramps to and from State Route 129. This allows for
the contractor to start construction on the ramp bridge from Interstate 75 to Hamilton Mason Road.
July 27, 2009
Both remaining phases of the Liberty Interchange project
continue to move on schedule. The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) continues to work on the new interchange from Interstate 75
to Liberty Way (formerly Hamilton Mason Road.) The picture below depicts driving from SR129 to southbound 75 under the new bridge
ramp that will allow access to Liberty Way when completed. ODOT has the ramps on the northern side of the project partially under
pavement. The ramps on the southern side are laid out and will be completed soon. The project is scheduled to open in the fall.
The TID continues to work on the fourth and final phase of the project, widening the portion of Liberty Way from Interstate 75
to Cincinnati Dayton Road. The picture below shows the utility work and road widening but is not the most recent picture for progress as
the contractor has made significant improvements since this picture. This phase will be open at the same time as the Interchange
phase to allow movement throughout the entire project.