The planning process for the reconstruction of Red Bank Road in Madisonville and Fairfax will proceed during 2012, but construction funds are not available for years.
The next planning meeting involving ODOT officials and local residents to discuss Red Bank Road will be held at Medpace, 5375 Medpace Way in Madisonville, at 7 PM on Wednesday, February 15. The actual construction on Red Bank Road does not appear likely to happen until 2020 or later, according to Michael Moore, director of transportation and engineering for the City of Cincinnati.
For planning purposes, ODOT considers Red Bank Road to be part of its proposed Eastern Corridor roadway to link I-275 near Milford to both Columbia Parkway in Fairfax and to Exit 9 of Interstate 71 (Red Bank Road) in Madisonville. If built, the Eastern Corridor roadway would relocate State Route 32 from the Eastgate area in Clermont County, following the east/west portion of the Little Miami River through Newtown and south of Mariemont before merging in Fairfax withboth Columbia Parkway and Red Bank Road.
Last summer, the Cincinnati City Council held a public hearing on Red Bank Road at the Madisonville Recreation Center. Approximately 350 residents of Madisonville and nearby communities attended the hearing.
Last month in Columbus, ODOT Director Jerry Wray announced that a lack of funds from state and federal sources has pushed back construction timelines for a large number of transportation projects across Ohio. For example, in Clermont County the construction of a portion of the Eastern Corridor roadway at the interchange of State Route 32 and Interstate 275 near Eastgate Mall has been pushed back from 2016 to 2019. Also, in Cincinnati and St. Bernard, the addition of two more lanes to Interstate 75 from the Norwood Lateral toMitchell Avenue has been delayed 14 years, from 2016 until 2030. For a complete list of these planned construction delays across the state, see ODOT’s January 17, 2012 construction-timeline document at http://www.dot.state.oh.us/trac/TRAC%20List/Recommended-DRAFT-TRAC-List-1-17-11.pdf.
As for Red Bank Road, ODOT had previously allocated money in its 2012 and 2013 budgets to step up the planning (but not actual construction) of Red Bank from Columbia Parkway to I-71. Steve Mary, ODOT’s district deputy director based at the ODOT District #8 office in South Lebanon, recently confirmed that planning for the reconstruction of Red Bank Road will continue as previously announced. Mary said that ODOT would not apply for constructionfunds for Red Bank Road until further along in the planning process.
Michael Moore, the City of Cincinnati’s transportation/engineering chief, said in an interview that because the Eastern Corridor construction along Route 32 near EastgateMall has been delayed until 2019, it is fair to assume that the construction on Red Bank Road in Madisonville and Fairfax is not likely to begin until sometime after 2019.
Moore said that the precise timetable for construction on Red Bank Road will depend on several factors, including decisions made in Washington on transportation appropriations bills and the determination of what transportation planners term as the “preferred alternative” path and design for the Red Bank corridor. When decided upon, this “preferred alternative” design and right of way will determine the how large the project ultimately is, the costs for construction and the degree of utility impacts (on underground gas pipelines, overhead electric lines, electric substations, etc.). The preferred alternative will also determine the amount of new land acquisition that is specified in those final designs for Red Bank Road.