Clermont County now has the money to begin buying right-of-way for a component of the Ohio 32 segment of the Eastern Corridor project.
A $5 million award from the Ohio Department of Transportation will be used to buy private property needed for construction of an interchange to replace the intersection of Ohio 32 and Bach-Buxton Road and Elick Lane.
The interchange is one of several planned road improvements that accompany ongoing Ohio 32 corridor improvements.
This spring, work begins on a third eastbound travel lane on Ohio 32 extending from Glen Este-Withamsville Road to Olive Branch-Stonelick Road. Work is expected to wrap up by fall. This is an ODOT project with a $10.2 million price tag, according to the Clermont County Engineers office.
Construction on an additional westbound travel lane is slated for 2019.
Wrapping up this spring is another ODOT project: the additional exit lane from southbound Interstate 275 exit ramp, which is a $1.8 million project.
Why all the road work?
Data from the Clermont County Engineer’s office shows Ohio 32 is one of the highest-volume local routes in Ohio and is a critical east-west connector for motorists. Current projections indicate that Ohio 32 traffic volume is approaching interstate levels and that by 2030, Ohio 32 will carry 79,000 vehicles per day. I-275 carries an estimated 84,000 vehicles per day.
Once all of the planned work is completed, overpasses and exit/entrance ramps will replace the existing series of traffic lights and intersections on Ohio 32 between I-275 and Batavia.
Clermont County Commissioner Ed Humphrey is a supporter of the Eastern Corridor Project and the economic development opportunities he sees it bringing to the county.
“We believe ODOT recognized the importance of funding this project work because of the strong connection Ohio 32 has to support increased investment throughout the entire southern region of the state,” he said.
Multiple related projects by the Clermont County Transportation Improvement District are scheduled for 2018 and 2019 with construction costs exceeding $20 million. Funding for the projects is from local, state and federal sources.
Improvements at the intersection of Ohio 32 and Bells Lane at Old Ohio 74 are scheduled for this summer.
Construction is slated to begin in 2019 on the following: the widening of Old Ohio 74 from Schoolhouse Road to Glen Este-Withamsville Road; improved access at Old Ohio 74 at Tealtown Road and Paul Drive; and the extension of Clepper Lane to Bach-Buxton Road.
A key project he sees benefiting from the Ohio 32 road improvements is the South Afton Commerce Park.
The Clermont County Community Improvement Corporation Inc. (CIC) purchased the nearly 250 acres for the commerce park in early 2016 for $4.9 million. The land is located at Half Acre Road and Ohio 32 in Williamsburg Township. The commerce park offers “business-ready” sites for manufacturers.
“Business-ready sites are considered highly attractive to potential companies because they reduce the time it takes for companies to locate and start operations in a given region,” Humphrey said. “More than 1,850 jobs are expected to be created directly at the South Afton site, with an additional 1,675 new jobs with suppliers and other supporting services. The development is expected to lead to $1.5 billion in local economic activity per year once completed.”