Thousands of vehicles go through the interchange of Interstate 75 and Ohio 73 every day, and the cities of Springboro and Franklin are working together with the Ohio Department of Transportation to improve the “front doors” to their cities.
The project will consist of widening the roadway on 73, adding turn lanes off the northbound ramp, planting trees and doing other beautification work.
City officials said the state is funding 100% of the safety improvements, about $2.4 million worth, and the project will be completed in two phases, starting this year. Final agreements have been completed by both cities, and the project will be managed by the Warren County Transportation Improvement District.
Springboro will contribute $394,000 and Franklin will contribute $129,000 for the first phase enhancements of the project. For the second phase, Springboro will contribute $608,000, while Franklin will contribute $136,000.
“Springboro’s share of the costs is higher because the city’s side of the interchange is the larger portion of the project,” said Springboro City Manager Chris Pozzuto.
Franklin City Manager Jonathan Westendorf said the city will be making roadway improvements so that there will be two through lanes west on Ohio 73 as well as two dedicated left-turn lanes from Ohio 73 onto I-75′s south entrance ramps. In addition, there will be a sidewalk installed from Conover Drive east into Springboro on the south side of Ohio 73.
“This is one of the last interchanges on Interstate 75 to be beautified,” Westendorf said. “It’s going to unify the appearance of both communities.”
Pozzuto said during the first phase of the project in 2022, trees will be planted along the exit ramps and the on-ramps, and Franklin will be doing the same on its side of the interstate.
During Phase 2 in 2023-24, the roadway improvements will begin. Pozzuto said the remainder of the Gateway Enhancement project will resume in 2024-25, including heavy landscaping in the area of Sharts Road and near the exit ramp and on-ramp for northbound I-75.
He said the bowl area of the interchange will contain mainly trees and shrubs. During the construction portion, the bowl area will be used to stage equipment for the project.
“It’s very cool to see these communities work together,” Westendorf said.