- Denise Callahan Staff Writer
The Butler County engineer says the major project to widen Ohio 747 to five lanes is set to start in Liberty Twp. next week.
The project will widen about one mile of the heavily traveled, two-lane stretch of road to five lanes — two northbound, two southbound, and a center turn lane — from Princeton Road to Millikin Road. Right turn lanes will be added on northbound 747 to eastbound Princeton Road and on eastbound Millikin Road to southbound 747.
The project also includes construction of a shared-use path and sidewalks along both sides of the roadway. Additionally, curbs and gutters will be added, signals and storm sewers will be upgraded and several culverts will be replaced.
Construction will take place while maintaining the current two lanes of traffic a majority of the time. Work is expected to start next week and will be completed by mid-September, weather permitting. The project was originally slated to begin last fall but was delayed due to utility relocation issues.
“This is essentially the next phase of widening Ohio 747 northward to accommodate increasing traffic volumes that have resulted from continued development in Liberty Township,” Butler County Engineer Greg Wilkens said. “The increased safety and capacity benefits from this project are significant. The Engineer’s Office is happy to be partnering with ODOT in an effort to facilitate its construction.”
A construction contract for the project was awarded to Barrett Paving Materials, Inc. of Middletown, which submitted a low bid of $7 million. Funding consists of federal money plus local Liberty Township and BCEO funds.
Two lanes of traffic will be maintained at all times with the exception of a three-day weekend closure for a culvert replacement. Those dates have not yet been determined.
There will also be occasional lane shifts on Ohio 747 to accommodate removal of old pavement and move traffic onto permanent pavement. Access to businesses and side streets will be maintained throughout the course of the project. However, a 30-day closure of Willow Ridge Drive for drainage, curb, and pavement tie-in will be necessary. This closure will likely occur in mid-spring.
Motorists may encounter occasional delays through the construction zone and are encouraged to find alternate routes in an effort to reduce possible congestion.
Motorists are also encouraged to check the BCEO web site as the best source for possible date and status changes or closures concerning this project – www.bceo.org/roadclosings .