Traffic delays on road near Wright-Patt start Monday, will last for months

RIVERSIDE — Traffic lanes on a main road near Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force will be reduced for months starting next week.

Harshman Road from Springfield Street to Airway Road will be down to one lane in each direction starting Monday to repair the barrier wall, according to Riverside officials.

Motorists can expect traffic delays and may want to seek alternate routes, such as Smithville Road, according to the city.

Harshman is a main route for buses, particularly those in the Mad River Local School District, which started classes Tuesday.

The work may prompt school bus drivers who use that area of Harshman to take another route, decisions that “will be made daily depending on traffic situations,” said Jenny Alexander, spokeswoman for Mad River.

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“We are looking at alternative routes such as Smithville Road,” Alexander said in an email. “Our drivers will look beforehand to see if routes are backed up. And if they are, we will adjust the route — if not, we will proceed as normal.”

The concrete barrier, built in the 1970s, is deteriorating. It divides traffic along a winding four-lane route that is one of the city’s busiest and where the speed limit has been 45 miles per hour.

That area of Harshman averages about 20,000 vehicles daily, officials have said. It is commonly used by those driving to or from the Air Force museum, Ohio 4, and sections of Dayton, Fairborn and Huber Heights.

Construction is expected to be finished by the end of December, weather permitting, according to the city.

Lanes will be closed “to ensure the safety of motorists throughout this corridor, as well as the crews repairing the wall,” Riverside City Manager Josh Rauch said a release.

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“We ask for the public’s patience and caution in the work area until repairs have been completed,” he added.

The project was originally put out to bid in April, but Riverside received no submissions from businesses. Then it was rebid, with R.B. Jergens Contractors, Inc., a Vandalia business, being awarded a contract of about $424,600, which was 170% over the budgeted amount, records show.

A second bid came from Eagle Bridge Co. of Sidney proposing work for about $440,000, Riverside Service Director Kathy Bartlett has said.

This work is part one of a three-phase emergency repair plan until the wall can be replaced in the near future, according to the city.

This phase includes replacing 12 deteriorating wall sections over the catch basins into the sewer system, Riverside officials said.

Also, a study is being performed about reconstructing Harshman from Springfield Street to Airway, according to the city.

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