Saturday, April 17, 2004

Water tower must go


Tank blocks a ramp of proposed I-75 Liberty interchange

By John Kiesewetter
The Cincinnati Enquirer

LIBERTY TWP. - About $2.95 a gallon. That's how much it costs to build a 2-million-gallon water tank.

Butler County will need one soon, because a 1-million-gallon tank on Hamilton-Mason Road must be torn down to make room for the proposed Interstate 75 Liberty interchange.

Engineers have determined that a planned southbound ramp from Hamilton-Mason Road to I-75 will go "right through the base of the water tower" southwest of the Hamilton-Mason Road overpass, said Rick Bailey, Butler County Transportation Improvement District director.

Bailey told the transportation board this week that it must pay for the $2.95 million relocation as part of the projected $20 million interchange connecting Hamilton-Mason Road to I-75 and the Michael A. Fox Highway (Ohio 129).

The Liberty interchange would provide direct access from I-75 and the Fox Highway to booming areas of West Chester and Liberty townships and Mason, while alleviating congestion on I-75 and Tylersville Road.

Although the highway construction won't start for at least two years, county officials are under pressure to start constructing a new tower as soon as possible, said Tony Parrott, Butler County Department of Environmental Services director. Building a new tank will take up to 2 1/2 years, Parrott said.

"The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency requires us to replace that tower before we take the other one down," Parrott said.

The new tank will be erected next to an existing 2-milliongallon tank on Van Gordon Road to take advantage of existing pumps and large trunk lines, Parrott said.

At the same time, Environmental Services has agreed to sell the house on the front part of the Van Gordon Road property to the county. The county plans to trade the home with Terre and Cheryl Oaks, whose two parcels on Ohio 747 are needed for widening the Ohio 747-Princeton Road intersection, Bailey said.

The transportation district board also authorized Bailey this week to buy two more homes at the intersection. A fourth parcel was purchased in February.

The $2.7 million widening could begin next year, if right-of-way and utility relocation can be completed this year, Bailey said.

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E-mail jkiesewetter@enquirer.com




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