CENTERVILLE — Work to improve traffic safety at one of Ohio 48′s busiest crossroads in southern Montgomery County is expected to start next month.
Centerville has agreed to award a contract for the Alex-Bell Road intersection work near Interstate 675, a project in which lane closures will be “minimal,” according to the city.
On average, about 34,000 vehicles cross that area daily and nearly 100 wrecks have been recorded there in a three-year period, Ohio Department of Transportation records show.
The average daily vehicle count is second only to the I-675 interchange, which averages about 41,500, according to ODOT.
The plan is to “fully reconstruct” traffic signals at the intersection near Cross Pointe Shopping Center, Centerville officials said.
“The signal replacement is an effort to reduce crashes and increase driver visibility to lane designation signs and traffic signals,” City Engineer Jim Brinegar said in an email.
“The new configuration will also increase signal efficiency and flexibility with the addition of new detection and flashing yellow arrow turn lane signals,” he added.
A start date has not been scheduled, but is expected in early September. Last week the city approved the contract award to Capital Electric Line Builders Inc. and Centerville will have daily oversight of the work, city officials said.
The Dayton firm was one of two businesses seeking the project and had a base bid of $529,750, just shy of $4,000 lower than Bansal Construction, Inc. of Fairfield, Centerville records show.
Federal funding aided by ODOT is paying for about $425,000 with the local share expected to cover the remainder, according to documents.
From 2017 to 2019, 99 crashes were recorded at the intersection, with 23 resulting in injury, according to ODOT. Rear-end wrecks accounted for more than half of the crashes.
A key aspect of the work will be the installation of a “permissive” left turn signal — or flashing yellow light — that will give “drivers more opportunities to make left turns when safe,” Centerville’s Communications Director Kate Bostdorff has said.
Left turns are required for Ohio 48 northbound drivers as they approach the intersection seeking to access southbound I-675. Eastbound Alex-Bell drivers must also turn left toward Kettering to get on the northbound ramp of that interstate.
The work is expected to take 10 months, according to ODOT. Traffic on both roads will be maintained, but lane closures or shifts will be required, state records show.
Curb lanes will close only during off-peak hours as required to complete work behind the curb, Brinegar said. The work schedule will avoid lane blockage during morning and afternoon peak hours whenever possible, he added.
The signals will include upgraded LED street lighting, which save energy and increase visibility, officials said. There will also be LED back-lit street name signs which help drivers see street name at night, they added.
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