Seward, Symmes among Fairfield’s road projects for 2017

Nearly $3.7 million will be spent on various road improvement projects in the city, including widenings and replacing “deteriorating” concrete.

Some road projects are economic development driven, which will allow for future growth, and some are simply maintenance projects, said Fairfield Public Works Director Dave Butsch.

One of the biggest projects, which carries an estimated $1.16 million price tag, involves two roads: Symmes and Seward roads.

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“Symmes Road needs to be overlayed and the road needs to be better aligned,” said Butsch.

Symmes Road from Ohio 4 to North Gilmore will be widened and repaved, which includes a small stretch of culvert repair and extension. This stretch of road will be two lanes with a center turn lane, and improved turn lanes at the Ohio 4/Symmes Road intersection.

The city wanted to improve the road in 2016, but a water main had to be relocated first and a culvert pipe extended, according to Butsch.

Seward Road will also be widened from Tylersville Road to the railroad tracks just north of the Miami-Erie Canal Bike Path. Butsch said shoulders will be added to the roadway, which adds safety to this stretch of road that features mostly farmland.

Around $785,000 is budgeted to be spent on replacing deteriorating concrete roads, which are paved with an asphalt overlay, this year. The roads include Vinnedge, Walter, Anthony Wayne and Fairfield avenues just south of Symmes and west of Ohio 4.

This also includes new curbs and driveway work for the residents on these streets, which will be part of the city-paid project.

“Because we’re re-profiling the road and the curbs, and making them drain to the new curb, we didn’t want to overlay it and Band-Aid it,” said City Engineer Ben Mann. “(Residents) have been waiting quite a while (for this project).”

This spring, residents will find out if their road will be repaved as part of the city’s annual repaving project, said Mann. Though not all streets for repaving have been identified, he said South Gilmore from Mack to where the city realigned Ohio 4 will be repaved.

The city maintains a comprehensive list of streets due to be repaved, but Mann said, “we don’t know which will fit within the budget, and we’ll have them narrowed down by February or March.”

This project, which could be as much as $1.5 million, will be bid out this spring in hopes a contractor could start in early summer.

Butsch said with the fire levy passing this past November, that can free up funds for more roads to be repaved.

“Hopefully we’ll be able to pave more than we historically have, and better keep up with the maintains,” said Butsch, adding that the recession impacted the city’s ability to repave roads. “Once you get behind on it, it’s hard to ever catch back up.”

Other six-figure road projects for 2017 include:

  • The city will extend the culvert on Seward Road south of Tylersville Road to Union Centre Boulevard, which will help set up that stretch of road if it needs to be widened in the future. It's estimated to cost $205,000.
  • The city will install a new traffic signal outside of the new Compass Elementary School which is across the street from Fairfield High School. The cost for the traffic signal is $136,000.
  • A design for project is underway for North Gilmore between Symmes Road and Holden Boulevard, which includes three lanes from Busway Lane to Holden Boulevard and improved grading at the railroad crossing. The design phase is budgeted to cost $110,000. Construction for this 2018 project could cost upwards of $1.5 million.

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