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Butler County’s newest roundabout opens after being ripped out and redone

Posted at 9:11 AM, Aug 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-19 12:15:17-04

Contractors didn’t quite make the opening of the first day of school, but the new roundabout at LeSourdsville West Chester and Millikin roads opened for motorists Wednesday morning, according to the Journal-News.

The plan was always to have the $1 million traffic circle opened before buses began rolling to Lakota Schools, but contractor error ditched those plans. The roundabout was nearly complete but had to be ripped out almost entirely and redone.

Butler County Engineer Greg Wilkens told the Journal-News that rain threw a wrench in the works Tuesday. He said contractors were out there at 6 a.m. Wednesday and the roads opened around 9 a.m.

“We ran into a little hiccup, the contractor did, and he worked diligently to correct it and we almost had it, except for that last rain around 5 o’clock took us out,” Wilkens said. “We got it done this morning. It’s not completely finished. We have to do a little grading on it, but for the most part, it’s generally done.”

The project started May 24 after school was out for the summer and then on Aug. 7 the contractor had to tear it out because of a grading error. Chief Deputy Engineer Dale Schwieterman told the Journal-News last week the contractor wasn’t trying to cut corners; their “modeling” was off and once pavement was laid, “it was apparent that something was messed up,” because parts of the roundabout were higher than the others, which could cause future problems.

The contractor paid for the mistake and the project was on budget.

The school district could not be reached for comment on whether the detour caused any issues, but spokeswoman Betsy Fuller said previously it would only impact about 10 buses.

Trustee Board President Tom Farrell said it was good to have the busy roads back open.

“I’m excited to see it open. Any road in Liberty closes for construction, it disrupts our residents and their ability to get to and from,” Farrell said. “We’re very excited to see it complete. All the roundabouts have improved our traffic flow and our safety and we’re doing it at an expense less than other options.”