Saturday, January 22, 2000

No more train delays down the road


Plans drawn for running tracks over Ohio 747

BY SARA J. BENNETT
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        SPRINGDALE — Relief is on the way for motorists stuck in traffic while trains cross busy Ohio 747.

        Plans are being finalized to widen the road, lower it, and run it underneath the CSX Railroad tracks just north of Interstate 275.

        The project means fewer delays for the 35,000 vehicles that travel Ohio 747 each day. It also means a safer commute for folks who live or work in Springdale and Butler County, thanks to an easier traffic flow on and off I-275.

        “We have a very active railroad system ... crossing a major arterial roadway that has, on its own, a very high traffic volume,” Springdale City Administrator Cecil Osborn said. “We have a bottleneck situation that is clearly a safety issue.”

        The project is still a long way from its estimated December 2003 completion. But David Emerick, a project manager with CDS Associates Inc., gave City Council an update this week on plans both for the finished product as well as traffic maintenance during construction.

        When finished, a section of Ohio 747 will have been lowered about 20 feet and run underneath a bridge carrying CSX's two tracks, he said.

        Ohio 747 also will be widened to three lanes northbound and southbound from Progress Place to Crescentville Road. There will be an additional center turn lane.

        Other plans include widening the westbound I-275 off-ramp to southbound Ohio 747 to create double right-turn lanes, and placing a traffic signal at the end of the ramp to help reduce crashes, Mr. Emerick said.

        While construction is under way, a temporary new section of Ohio 747 just east of the current road will carry traffic past the project. A portion of railroad track also will be moved to the north to make room for bridge construction.

        Final plans for the entire project will be presented to the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) in June, Mr. Emerick said. At that point, a more concrete cost estimate will be developed.

        Right now, the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments (OKI) has budgeted $8.8 million, Mr. Emerick said.

        Money for the project will come from ODOT, OKI and city funds. Construction is expected to begin in November 2001.

       



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