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Officials provide updates on proposed North Hamilton Crossing project

Map of proposed North Hamilton Crossing Routes
City of Hamilton
Map of proposed North Hamilton Crossing Routes

City of Hamilton, Butler County and Ohio Department of Transportation officials on Monday gave dozens of Hamilton residents a progress report on a potential effort to add river crossings and widen roadways across the city.

The proposal would add auto and train bridges across the Great Miami River — in part to replace the aging Black Street Bridge — and build a new east-west roadway across the northern part of the city. It's still years away from construction, but some are concerned about the fact that it will likely require relocation for some residents.

City of Hamilton Project Manager Allen Messer says planners have refined possibilities for North Hamilton Crossing down from more than 16 proposed routes.

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"We now have it down to a couple of river crossings, three routes through the neighborhoods, and then we've kind of got only one that made sense as we get further east," he said.

Likely off the table: routing the project through historic Greenwood Cemetery. But the routes that remain will likely all involve relocation for some residents, officials say. That has people like Joseph Mingus concerned.

"Some of those houses, their values are low, but to relocate, it would be three times the value of their current house," he said. "So let's say you gave them $100,000 for their current house, but it would cost $300,000 to relocate, or more."

Officials stressed they were working to make sure any resident asked to relocate would be made whole. The city has enlisted nonprofit Neighborhood Housing Services of Hamilton to work with residents to build or rehab replacement housing when the time comes.

But it will be another year before it's clear who, exactly, might have to move.

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"At this time, the specific home-by home ... we don't have that information yet," Ohio Department of Transportation District Environmental Coordinator Keith Smith told the crowd. "What we're really going to focus on in this next part is doing as much as we can to refine the alignments and our footprint. Obviously, we'd like to not impact as much as possible."

You can find more details about the project online.

Nick has reported from a nuclear waste facility in the deserts of New Mexico, the White House press pool, a canoe on the Mill Creek, and even his desk one time.