Letter from Butler County Engineer Gregory J. Wilkens, P.E., P.S.
To the Citizens and Board of County Commissioners of Butler County, Ohio:
I respectfully present the Butler County Engineer’s 2019 Annual Report for your review. Each project listed in this report has the direct involvement of the Butler County EnOneer’s Office (BCEO), including planning and engineering, funding, administration of the contract, and/or construction and inspection.
This summary of 2019 Activity provides only a partial overview of who we are and what we do. It details over $26 million in completed capital improvements of the $54 million planned (two projects in progress) and various forms of maintenance last year, including seven bridge projects, 36 culvert projects, four intersection projects, one interchange project, four roadway projects, and over 43 miles of resurfacing.
We at the BCEO not only work to keep our roads safe and up to date but focus on upgrading Butler County’s infrastructure as a means to spur economic growth. Many hours, months, and sometimes years of planning are essential to selecting a project and getting it ready for construction. Identifying and securing funding occurs early in the process, and fortunately, we have an outstanding staff that understands how to successfully obtain grants, most of which are issued on a competitive basis. A few such 2019 projects requiring federal funding are the Lanes Mill Road bridge replacement in Milford Township, the widening of Cincinnati Dayton Road and bridge replacement in West Chester Township, and the widening of Millildn Road in Liberty Township. These remarkable improvements and the others listed in this report are a testament to our commitment to efficiently enhance the safety and capacity in the Butler County transportation network.
Ongoing maintenance and construction of County roads and bridges are funded primarily by license plate fees and gasoline tax revenues. I am grateful to our Ohio legislators for the recent statewide gas tax increase, which allows us to sustain our resurfacing program, providing a higher quality road network with better long-term maintenance. You can be confident in knowing that our staff is persistently exploring new avenues to stretch your tax dollars as best we can to make your commute safer.
Safe roads now and a solid plan for the future is what we are all about at the BCEO. Moving forward often requires looking back; our partnership with West Chester Township over the years enabled us to build a roadway network in the Union Centre area that stimulates economic development In our continuing effort to improve and foster this growing economy, 2019 was the year we began the improvement of the interchange by converting it to a Diverging Diamond Interchange. As I look ahead to future capital improvements, I know that it is through the cooperation of Butler County’s numerous local governments, the private sector, and the support of our citizens that we are able to make a difference.
Thanks for your continued trust and support as your County Engineer. Please feel free to contact us at the BCEO with your concerns and suggestions for how we can improve our service. We look forward to hearing your thoughts.