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Project Profile: Butler County Veterans Highway (State Route 129)

Butler County Veterans Highway (State Route 129)

photo credit: Butler County Transportation Improvement District


Butler County, Ohio

Project Sponsor / Borrower

Butler County Transportation Improvement District / Ohio Department of Transportation

Program Areas

Project FinanceValue Capture

Value Capture Techniques Transportation Improvement Districts



The Butler County Veterans Highway (State Route 129) is a 10.7-mile, four-lane, east-west state highway connecting the City of Hamilton, Ohio with I-75, about 25 miles north of Cincinnati. The highway includes three intermediate interchanges with two state routes and a local road.

When I-75 was constructed in the 1960s, Hamilton became the second largest city in the U.S. without a direction connection to the Interstate. Originally designated the Michael A. Fox Butler County Regional Highway from the highway's opening in Fall 1999 until June 2004, the connection to I-75 had been long sought by local officials primarily for economic development reasons. The region capitalized on a new governmental organization authorized in Ohio in 1993 called a Transportation Improvement District (TID). The Butler County TID is jointly governed by the county, two cities, including Hamilton, and three townships in the region. It has the power to finance, construct, maintain, repair, and operate transportation systems within the region using state and federal funds, interest proceeds, local government contributions, and a three percent administration charge on construction projects managed by the TID. The TID has authority to issue debt. It also helps build regional consensus on transportation priorities and seeks opportunities to expedite implementation of needed projects.

The $158.5 million project opened in December 1999 after 19 months of construction. The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) funded construction of the highway through a lease-purchase agreement with the Butler County TID, under which the TID initially agreed to maintain the highway for 20 years and complete related improvements to local roads. Under a revised agreement struck shortly before the route opened, ODOT took on the highway's maintenance obligation.


$158.5 million (including right-of-way acquisition, design, and construction)

  • Construction contract - $92.76 million
  • Construction management and inspection - $5.96 million
Funding Sources

Revenue bonds repaid from the Butler County Transportation Improvement District Debt Service Fund - $158.5 million

  • Debt Service Fund capitalized by periodic lease payments from ODOT who acquired the roadway through a lease-purchase agreement. ODOT's source of funding derived from future federal highway apportionments (GARVEEs) appropriated to ODOT biennially by the Ohio General Assembly
  • Portion of the revenue bonds used to repay 3 State Infrastructure Bank loan used predominantly (but not exclusively) to pay for project design and right-of-way acquisition in advance of bond issuance - $10 million (Sept. 1996), $10 million (Jan. 1997), $15 million (May 1997)
Project Delivery / Contract Method Design-bid-build
Private Partner


Project Advisors / Consultants

KZF and LJB Engineering - Design

Kokosing Construction Company - General Contractor

M.E. Companies - Contract Administration

Resource International - Construction Management and Inspection

Smith Barney and Seasongood & Mayer - Underwriters

Financial Security Assurance, Inc. - Bond Insurance



Duration / Status

Construction from May 1998 to December 1999

Financial Status

Closed. Bonds issued on October 1, 1997.

Related Links / Articles

Butler County Transportation Improvement District


David Spinney
Executive Director
Butler County Transportation Improvement District
Tel: (513) 785-3450

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