Focus growing on Woodman corridor near Wright-Patt as U.S. 35 work nears end

Credit: STAFF

Credit: STAFF

For more than a year, the $10.3 million U.S. 35-Woodman Drive interchange realignment has been the most impactful road project in Riverside.

The Ohio Department of Transportation’s work is expected to end on what Riverside officials call the city’s gateway — where about 80,000 to 90,000 vehicles pass per day — by October.

And Riverside officials are starting to focus more on another multimillion-dollar effort — long-term safety upgrades for the Woodman/Harshman Avenue corridor, as it stretches from U.S. 35, north to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

ODOT said Thursday the U.S. 35 eastbound entrance and exit ramps that have been closed for weeks have reopened.

No more ramp closings (a common occurrence since the work started in spring 2023), are expected at the crossroads between Beavercreek, Dayton, Kettering and Wright-Patt, ODOT spokeswoman Loryn Bryson said. She said all Woodman lanes, which have been reduced at and around the interchange since the project started, are expected to be open in late September.

“That’s certainly our expectation,” Riverside Mayor Pete Williams said. “It’s been frustrating at times because of the scope of what they were trying to accomplish. But you can really see the new design coming to form in front of us.”

Riverside has been laying the groundwork for safety upgrades on the Woodman/Harshman route north of the interchange for years, investing about $6.8 million into the effort.

The estimated three-mile stretch that handles an average of about 20,000 vehicles a day has a 45-mile-per-hour speed limit. But it lacks adequate pedestrian paths, and an area near Wright-Patt includes a curve where vehicle accidents happen too frequently, according to Riverside records.

Plans to improve sections of the city’s busiest thoroughfare go back at least three years. Temporary fixes to Harshman near the base and the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force were made in 2022.

A task force for the corridor was formed earlier this year, and plans for the route were recently the subject of a public forum, with residents and visitors still able to comment on the plan, Riverside officials said.

“It will be a busy fall for us I think,” Williams said.

Riverside was recently awarded a federal $700,000 grant to redesign the corridor, City Manager Josh Rauch said.

“The main goal of the design process is to enhance safety for pedestrians, cyclists, and the motoring public,” Rauch said. “But we’re also taking this opportunity to create a ‘sense of place’ along the corridor that aligns with” the city’s recently adopted comprehensive land use plan.

Public feedback on the Woodman corridor is continuing online via a virtual open house, Rauch said. It is available until July 5 to anyone who has traveled the corridor and can be accessed at

The input “will inform what the proposed design will look like,” Rauch said. “We hope to have the … design finalized by the end of the year.”

About the Author