The CenterPoint Energy Dayton Air Show is having a three-lane access road built to accommodate traffic coming off the Northwoods Boulevard exits from Interstate 75.
The new road will start just off the intersection of Northwoods and Engle Road, just west of the I-75 ramps.
From Engle, the new road will stretch north before bending west to the air show’s existing parking field northeast of Northwoods and North Dixie Drive, east of Dayton International Airport. That field serves general admission parking for the show.
Along with a move to pre-paid parking that show officials announced in January, it is hoped the new access will ease the traffic snarls that bedeviled last July’s well-attended show.
The work represents a significant investment, said Kevin Franklin, executive director of the show, who did not offer an exact figure when asked how much of an investment this is.
The show worked with Transportation Supply Depot, which owns the land on which the access road is being built, as well as the city of Dayton, which owns the parking field.
“We’re in the final phase of the new construction of our new road,” Franklin said Thursday. “There will be three lanes that will give access to our general admission parking for the weekend of the show.”
“It’s going to help facilitate the traffic flow,” he added.
The trio of entrances from Dixie to the general admissions lot that the show has relied on over the years will remain in use, he also said.
Last July’s two-day show likely contributed to lengthy traffic snarls on I-75. More than 80,000 people attended the show in 2022, perhaps the event’s strongest attendance in 15 years.
The 2022 show was the first post-pandemic air show not hampered by poor weather, and the turnout was strong.
With a three lanes of width, Franklin expects a quickly moving parking queue. He said signs will direct motorists to the new entrance.
“Last year was such a substantial increase in our attendance,” he said. “Usually a good show for us is 40,000 or 50,000. Last year, we had over 83,000 folks coming to the show last year. this definitely pointed to a need for improvement.”
This summer’s air show will be July 22 and 23.
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