WEST CARROLLTON - Exit 47 is open again after almost 10 months and $26 million in construction.
The interchange leading into West Carrollton - and Moraine - opened last week.
“This is an exciting time for many residents and business owners in our community,” West Carrollton Mayor Jeff Sanner said in a press release issued Monday by the city and Ohio Department of Transportation.
For the first time in almost a year, drivers on Dixie Drive can merge right onto I-75, rather than follow detours. Motorists exiting southeast into West Carrollton drive past El Meson restaurant, where the Castro family has used a variety of strategies to maintain business during construction.
Still the restaurant owners supported the project.
“In the long term, this was a huge investment we were proud to be part of,” Bill Castro said.
To offset losses of 40 to 50 percent in sales, Castro said El Meson offered additional discounts, adjusted staff and salaries and worked hard at promoting the restaurant through social networking and more traditional marketing.
Business had yet to pick up since the reopening, Castro said Monday.
“It hasn’t affected my numbers,” Castro said. “Our customers have found alternative routes.”
In coming weeks, Castro predicted business would grow as renewed drive-by traffic left motorists with renewed thoughts of El Meson.
“We’re just getting ready to rev up,” he said.
On I-75 around the interchange, a traffic pattern switch remains during reconstruction of southbound lanes.
Tonight West Carrollton City Council is expected to meet to discuss opportunities along the new corridor designed to welcome motorists entering the city, with quick access to the Great Miami River and the adjoining bike trail.
The last phases of construction around Exit 47 involve reconstruction of Manchester Road and the new configuration of eastbound Dixie, near Dryden Road. A ribbon cutting to celebrate the project’s completion is to be late this fall.