The Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments (OKI) has awarded the South Hamilton Crossing overpass project $3.75 million from the Federal Surface Transportation Program. OKI is a council of local governments, business organizations and community groups committed to developing collaborative strategies to improve the quality of life and the economic vitality of the region.
This $3.75 million allocation is in addition to the $2.45 million OKI has already awarded the project. The South Hamilton Crossing (SHX) project will improve transportation in the City of Hamilton and the region. SHX will replace an existing at-grade railroad crossing with a railroad overpass created by extending Grand Boulevard to the west. The Butler County Transportation Improvement District (TID) applied for the funding this year in partnership with the City of Hamilton.
|Rendering of South Hamilton Crossing|
In addition to the $6.2 million from OKI, SHX has received $10 million in funding from the State of Ohio, $500,000 from the Butler County TID, $100,000 from the Butler County Engineer’s Office, and funds from the railroad. The City of Hamilton anticipates contributing approximately half of the cost of the project. The total project cost is estimated to be $29 million.
Currently, there is only one existing grade-separated crossing that permits east-west flow through the City of Hamilton (Jack Kirsch Underpass). This project is expected to greatly improve connectivity, reduce drive times, and increase safety. Currently, 56 trains travel through the existing crossing daily, blocking the crossing 15.3% of the time.
SHX is anticipated to have especially important benefits to Vora Technology Park, University Commerce Park, and Miami University-Hamilton, as it greatly improves transit access to these areas.
“OKI’s support of the South Hamilton Crossing project is crucial to its success and illustrates how important the overpass is to our regional transit network,” stated City Manager Joshua Smith. “SHX is very important for both safety and economic reasons. With the recent announcement that Barclaycard is opening a 1,500 person facility at Vora Technology Park, the need for better access to the area is more important now than ever. OKI continues to be a tremendous partner in our efforts to improve our transportation network and we are very grateful for OKI’s support. We are also very grateful for the Butler County TID. Without the leadership of Dave Spinney and the TID member board, we could not complete this project.”
The City of Hamilton began right-of-way acquisition for the project in February 2014 and construction is anticipated to start March 2016. The project is expected to be complete in mid-2018. There are records of plans for South Hamilton Crossing dating back to 1911.