"Building Towards Butler County's Future"

Butler County TID Completes Original Highway Goals
by Jim Blount - Board of Trustees Chairman
posted December 2, 2007

The Butler County Transportation Improvement District will come full circle Monday, Dec. 3, 2007, when it officially dedicates completion of another section of Ohio 747 in West Chester and Liberty townships. The project -- which runs north from Tylersville Road to Ohio 129 -- is another phase in upgrading a two-lane Ohio 747 to four-lanes, plus turn lanes, for 5.4 miles from the Ohio 129 interchange south to the county line.

For TID, it is another milestone in 11 years of highway improvements that have promoted economic development, job creation and an increased tax base for Butler County.

TID's first project -- completed Oct. 21, 1996 -- was a $1.5 million upgrade and widening at the intersection of Ohio 747 and Tylersville Road in West Chester Twp. Work started July 15, 1996, on that outdated crossing of two old rural two-lane roads.

That site -- a traffic bottleneck and high-accident area -- was transformed to through lanes and right turn and left turn lanes in all directions. The intersection was built to match future Ohio 747 widening north and south of that point. It is at the southern end of the latest Ohio 747 upgrade.

Other TID achievements in the last 11 years have included:

** The Union Centre interchange in West Chester Twp. became the first new I-75 interchange in Southwestern Ohio since the highway opened in 1960. Work began in March 1997. The $16.75 million interchange (exit 19), plus surrounding road improvements, carried traffic eight months later in December 1997. It opened more than 3,000 acres to development -- land previously inaccessible. Since opening, the interchange has led to creation of thousands of jobs and has returned millions in tax revenues.

** Muhlhauser Road -- formerly a narrow, dead-end rural road -- was upgraded and extended to form a southern link between Ohio 747 and I-75 at the Union Centre interchange. The $9.31 million project also relieved traffic congestion and encouraged economic development. A new 1.71-mile five-lane section between Allen Road and International Boulevard opened Dec. 23, 1998. Widening of a 1.1-mile old section to five lanes from International Boulevard west to Ohio 747 was completed in October 1999.

** The Ohio 129 extension -- 10.7 miles between Hamilton and a new I-75 interchange (exit 24) -- became a TID responsibility in September 1995. Work started May 15, 1998, on the $164.94 million road also known as the Michael A. Fox Highway, Butler County Regional Highway and Butler County Veterans Highway. End sections opened in October 1999. The entire roadway opened Dec. 13, 1999, eight months ahead of schedule.

** Union Centre Boulevard -- extending west from I-75 to Ohio 747 and east to Cincinnati-Dayton Road -- was a new road, costing $8.14 million. Part of the three-mile corridor was built in 1997 during the interchange construction. An extension from Beckett Road west to Ohio 747 opened Oct. 5, 2000.

** The Union Centre Boulevard extension west of Ohio 747 filled a 1.7-mile gap between the eastern terminus of Symmes Road at Seward Road in Fairfield and the western end of Union Centre Boulevard in West Chester Twp. It provided I-75 access to business and industrial areas in the cities of Fairfield and Hamilton, and opened land in West Chester Twp. and Fairfield for development. Ground was broken for the $8.10 million extension Feb. 16, 2001, and the new four-lane roadway opened 10 months later, Dec. 10, 2001.

All TID projects have been developed and completed in cooperation with the Butler County Engineer's Office, the Federal Highway Administration, the Ohio Department of Transportation, Butler County commissioners, other agencies and the local governments -- the cities of Hamilton and Fairfield; and Liberty, Fairfield and West Chester townships -- that formed the district in 1993.

The Dec. 3, 2007, opening of the Tylersville Road to Ohio 129 section of Ohio 747 also will mark completion of TID's original plan for the southeastern corner of the county. The mid-1990s goals included Union Centre Boulevard, Symmes Road extension, Ohio 129 and Muhlhauser Road as east-west links and Ohio 747 as the north-south component.

Initially, some projects faced public skepticism and opposition. After completion, they have gained popularity for improving travel convenience and safety and for spurring economic benefits to the entire county.

Additions to TID's original agenda are (1) the Liberty Interchange at the east end of Ohio 129, including a Cox Road northern extension, and (2) widening and improvement of Ohio 4 Bypass in Hamilton, Fairfield and Fairfield Township. In recent years, TID board membership has been expanded to include representation from the Oxford, Trenton, Monroe and Middletown areas.


Last Updated: November 3, 2008