Friday, June 16, 2000

Newtown traffic to be eased

Congestion clogs daily commute

By Allen Howard
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        NEWTOWN — A $1 million reconfiguration of the Round Bottom Road-Ohio 32-River Hills Drive intersection will begin in a month, with hopes of relieving the woes of 20,000 daily commuters through this east-side village.

        John Crenshaw, who owns Anderson Hills Woodworks less than 50 yards from the intersection, welcomes the project.

        “The traffic is miserable during rush hours in the mornings and afternoons,” Mr. Crenshaw said. “Sometimes at the height of the traffic bottleneck it will take you 20 to 25 minutes to get through Newtown.”

        Traffic piles up as Ohio 32 narrows from four lanes at the Clermont County line to two lanes, about 3 miles east of Newtown.

        Bruce Brandstetter, engineer with the firm of Brandstetter and Carroll in Cincinnati, said plans are to widen Ohio 32 to three lanes, starting at the intersection and going east 0.75 mile to Little Dry Run Road.

        “By widening that stretch it will help to relieve some of the traffic bottleneck,” Mr. Brandstetter said. “We will not be able to stretch it all the way to the Clermont County line.”

        He said a bigger plan for improving the traffic flow on Ohio 32 is in the $800 million Eastern Corridor project, proposed by the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments.

        That plan calls for rerouting Ohio 32 around the village to the north and connecting it with the Beechmont Levee.

        The Eastern Corridor is a transportation improvement plan, stretching from downtown Cincinnati to Batavia, and from Interstate 471 in Northern Kentucky to Milford.

        Mr. Brandstetter said the reconfiguration project, which he expects to be completed next summer, also will merge River Hill Drive on the south side of Ohio 32 with Round Bottom Road on the north side into one intersection and one traffic light.

        The way the intersection is now there are two traffic lights too close together on Ohio 32, one at Round Bottom Road and another less than 25 yards east at River Hill Drive.

        “Often when big trucks make the turn from Round Bottom onto Route 32, they are not completely out of the turn before they have to stop at another traffic light,” Mr. Brandstetter said.

        “We expect to be able to manage the traffic while work is being done with temporary lanes. I don't think we will need any major detours.”

        Ninety percent of the funding for the project will come from the Ohio Public Works Commission. The rest comes from the village.


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