So far, most public comments have favored building a traffic roundabout at the busy Mad River/Alex-Bell roads intersection, a roundabout that Montgomery County Engineer Paul Gruner said would do away with the thousand-foot backups that stymie the current four-way-stop intersection at the busiest hours.
“We’re reducing the 1,000-foot backups to nothing essentially at the peak hours,” Gruner told a I-70/75 Economic Development Association breakfast meeting at Sinclair Community College Friday.
People may comment on the roundabout proposal until July 31. A comment form on the idea can be found at the Montgomery County engineer’s office web site. (Go to www.mcohio.org/government/elected_officials/engineer/Alex_Bell_Mad_River_Notice.php.)
Gruner joined Randy Chevalley, Ohio Department of Transportation District 7 director, in talking about upcoming area transportation projects Friday, including the plan to add a lane on Interstate 70 from Ohio 68 to Ohio 72 between Dayton and Springfield, perhaps the regional road project that will affect the greatest number of motorists.
Some 65,000 to 70,000 motorists use that stretch of I-70 daily, Scott LeBlanc, ODOT District 7 construction engineer, has told this news outlet.
The start for the $43 million I-70 project is only days away, slated to begin Aug. 9 with a September 2021 completion date. Traffic is to be maintained on two lanes in each direction during construction.
No final decision has been made yet on the roundabout, Gruner said after his public remarks to the development association. He noted that the project will require federal funding.
He estimated that the project, if approved, wouldn’t be completed until about the year 2021. But right now, Gruner and his staff are leaning toward that option.
“We had a consultant do a study which said a roundabout is the best solution,” Gruner said. “So far, the comments are running about three out of four in favor of the roundabout. Very few people are against doing anything.”
The estimated cost for the project is about $1.5 million at this point, he said.
“We’re waiting until after the comment period to make a decision, me and my staff — or me, I guess,” he added. “But we are starting to put together some funding applications in anticipation of that.”