Residents divided on fix for deadly Butler County intersection

But not everyone thinks a roundabout is the best solution.

For years, it has remained one of Butler County’s most dangerous and deadliest intersections, but sometime in 2019, a roundabout will be constructed at Ohio 73 and Jacksonburg Road in an effort to improve safety.

More than 50 local residents attended an open house Wednesday to share their thoughts on the intersection with the Ohio Department of Transportation and its design contractor, Burgess & Niple.

Among the possible solutions presented were: doing nothing; restricting left turns from Jacksonburg Road; putting in a traffic signal; and installing a roundabout, with three possible configurations presented.

One of the possible roundabout configurations would reduce the hill on Ohio 73 east as it goes into the roundabout that would be built slightly to the south of the current intersection.

The other two possible roundabout configurations would require demolishing one or both houses that are currently near the northeast and northwest corners of the intersection.

In all three configurations, ODOT said the intersection would be highly visible and promote lower speeds.

Shirley Lovely, who lives on Jacksonburg Road about 500 feet from the intersection, said she has seen numerous crashes at the site since 1958.

“It might work if they put it in properly,” she said of a roundabout. “It could slow down traffic.”

She said ODOT will have to take some of the hill down on Ohio 73 west and some of the hill on Jacksonburg Road north.

“They will need to make it big enough for trucks to get around. Semis are pretty good size,” Lovely said.

Kevin O’Connor, who lives on Ohio 73, some 400 feet west of the intersection, is also concerned about the hill on the highway.

“They’re going to have to cut that down,” he said. “I’ve lived there since 1975 and I pulled a guy out of a burning car a few years back.”

Thomas Coulter, who lives three houses from the intersection, said he can hear the squeal of tires and crunching metal when there is a crash at the intersection.

“I’ve seen roundabout accidents,” he said. “A rotary will make the area more congested. When Miami (University) has a football game, the road east and west is solid traffic. A rotary is going to slow everybody up and a stoplight would back things up forever.”

Coulter said the roundabout will need to be very large to accommodate large trucks, which means some houses or property will be taken away which in turn, takes away tax dollars from the county.

Brianne Hetzer, an ODOT planning engineer, said they are recommending the proposed roundabout south of the current intersection that would leave both houses standing. It would also reduce the hill on Ohio 73 eastbound into the intersection.

Hetzer said she was pleased with the large turnout for the open house, something they were not anticipating. She said ODOT would be accepting public comments on the proposed project until Aug. 5.

“This has been a problem for decades,” said Larry Setser, Wayne Twp. trustees chairman. “They can start tomorrow. Anything to keep people from getting killed.”

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