South Hamilton Crossing Project

South Hamilton Railroad Grade Separation Project
SHX Improvement Project
This project consists of the grade separation, in the form of an overpass, of the dangerous and confusing at-grade rail crossing, known as South Hamilton Crossing (SHX). The overpass will improve access to the adjacent 60+ acres of vacant municipally-owned, development-ready land at University Commerce Park; the growing Hamilton campus of Miami University; and Class-A office space of Vora Technology Park, by connecting Grand Boulevard on the east side of the CSX rail lines to University Boulevard to the west. Once complete, the potential development areas along University Boulevard will have a mainline artery to Bypass 4, State Route 129 and Interstate 75.

The SHX Improvement Project will provide much needed access to one of the most exciting and unique development opportunities in the region.

Project Improvements
Connectivity
Currently, the City of Hamilton is lacking in a direct east-west route on the south side of the City. Constructing a bridge over the CSX rail lines at Central Avenue would satisfy the long term east-west connectivity and would provide better access and more efficient mobility for motorists, emergency services, school buses, the Miami University extension branch, and local businesses. View the plans (PDF) online.

Safety
Presently, Central Avenue has a substandard intersection layout with the CSX rail lines and Pleasant Avenue along with sight distance issues. The crash analysis indicates that the crash types are significantly higher than normal in the categories related to poor intersection geometrics. In addition, an at-grade railroad crossing is considered unsafe because of the crash potential and severity of the crash. Separation of the existing at-grade railroad crossing would improve the safety in this area by removing the skewed intersections and separating vehicles from the rail traffic.

Economic Development
The City of Hamilton is exploring ways to spur economic development in the area. Potential development opportunities are hindered because traffic flow is impeded by the 56 trains per day using the CSX lines at Central Avenue. Due to poor roadway geometrics truck traffic is prohibited from using the rail crossing. Thirteen manufacturers in the area rely on truck traffic which must detour around the crossing. Improvements to the infrastructure and providing a direct east-west route through the area would encourage redevelopment efforts.

Other Benefits
The City currently has one grade separation of this rail line at High Street which is the only east/west connection during train occurrences. This creates heavy traffic congestion in the downtown center as motorists avoid nine other at-grade crossings. Vehicular congestion can't clear during peak hours with multiple trains passing.

This project is consistent with local land use policies, such as the City of Hamilton’s Neighborhood Initiative Redevelopment Plan, the University Commerce Park development, and the redevelopment of the unused industrial sites on East Avenue.

The elimination of the at-grade railroad crossing will decrease overall vehicular congestion, thus reducing vehicle emissions and improving air quality.

Schedule
  • Right-of-Way Acquisitions began in February, 2014; completion is scheduled for September 2015
  • Construction Plans to be completed by September, 2015
  • Anticipated Start Date for Construction is March, 2016
  • Anticipated Completion Date for Construction is October 2017

Project Update - March 17, 2015
Right-of-Way Acquisition
Right-of-Way Acquisition is progressing. Affected property owners have been contracted and negotiations are commencing.

Design
The Stage 3 (95% design) documents have been submitted for review by ODOT and the City. Stage 3 documents represent the final review.

Current Activities
The project recently received a $10,000,000 grant from the Transportation Review Advisory Committee of the Ohio Department of Transportation. City of Hamilton, Butler County TID, and ODOT are working to secure the balance of the funding for construction. Stage 3 Construction and right-of-way plans are being reviewed and utility relocation planning is underway.

More Information
Visit the South Hamilton Crossing page for more information.