Salem Avenue roadwork near downtown gets underway

The second phase of construction for Salem Avenue in Dayton is starting at Riverview Avenue (bottom of photo) and going north. JIM NOELKER/STAFF

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The second phase of construction for Salem Avenue in Dayton is starting at Riverview Avenue (bottom of photo) and going north. JIM NOELKER/STAFF

The next phase of Dayton’s large Salem Avenue reconstruction and paving project began Monday.

This second of four phases starts immediately north of downtown, at Riverview Avenue, and goes north for just over a half-mile, to North Avenue.

A full “reconstruction” of a road segment is much more significant than a traditional repaving where the top inch or so of asphalt is removed and replaced. City officials said last year that the underlying base pavement on some parts of Salem dates back more than 100 years.

Travel delays are expected during the roadwork, as traffic will be reduced to a single lane in each direction of Salem Avenue. Currently, crews are starting work on the east side of the roadway (normal northbound lanes), pushing all traffic to the west side of Salem (the normal southbound lanes). Drivers are encouraged to use alternate routes when possible.

City officials said the reconstruction is necessary to address deterioration of the existing road, and added that the project “will transform one of Dayton’s key corridors.”

The new roadway will be five lanes (two in each direction with a center turn lane), plus a two-way, 10-foot-wide cycle track. New pavement, curbs, sidewalks and ornamental street lighting will be installed. Concrete stamped crosswalks will also be installed at Salem’s intersections with Riverview, Superior and Grand.

The full Salem Avenue reconstruction from Riverview Avenue to Elsmere Avenue is taking place over multiple years.

The first phase began in mid-May 2021 and rebuilt Salem between Manhattan Avenue and North Avenue, with final paving completed this spring. The current second phase of the project is expected to take until the end of 2023.

Phase 3, rebuilding Salem from Manhattan Avenue to Cornell Drive, will run from spring 2023 to September 2023. Phase 4 will rebuild Salem Avenue from Cornell Drive to Elsmere Avenue in 2025.

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