U.S. 35 Superstreet opens this week in Greene County

At US 35 and Orchard Lane is the site for a new "Superstreet" intersection. The construction goes from Factory Road to Orchard Lane.  JIM NOELKER/STAFF
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At US 35 and Orchard Lane is the site for a new "Superstreet" intersection. The construction goes from Factory Road to Orchard Lane. JIM NOELKER/STAFF

BEAVERCREEK — Motorists on U.S. 35 will be making a lot more legal U-turns starting this week at both the Factory Road and Orchard Lane intersections. The superstreet project, which aims to improve safety and traffic flow on that part of U.S. 35, opens Friday to traffic.

Superstreets prohibit side-street traffic, in this case vehicles traveling on Factory Road and Orchard Lane, to turn left or go straight through the mainline intersection. Instead, drivers coming from the side streets will turn right onto U.S. 35 and do a legal U-turn at a nearby median crossover, called a loon. From there, cars can continue onto U.S. 35, or turn right to continue on to the side street on the other side.

Drivers on U.S. 35 wanting to turn left onto Factory Road or Orchard Lane can turn normally.

The superstreet design allows more cars driving on U.S. 35 to pass through the intersection at a time, and reduces the number of times those vehicles have to stop. In addition to cutting down on commute congestion, the intersection is expected to improve safety because it reduces the number of spots where vehicle paths converge from 32 to 14, said ODOT District 8 Engineer Adam Treiber. Upwards of 44,000 vehicles pass through the intersection on U.S. 35 per day.

“By allowing for a more efficient movement of traffic, superstreets reduce congestion, cut down on delays and limit collision opportunities,” Treiber previously told the Dayton Daily News. “Like anything else, traversing the Superstreet will be new in the beginning and the public might initially be unsure, but it should be great. As always, slow down and pay attention to the signals, signs, and the flow of traffic.”

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Workers have installed the signal poles at the new loons, and the signal changes go into effect this Friday, per the Greene County Engineer’s Office.

Safety has long been a problem on U.S. 35, and previous studies of the highway recommended eliminating the at-grade intersections on the two side streets and constructing a limited access facility for through traffic, per the project’s website. However, funding constraints caused the Ohio Department of Transportation to consider a project that would both lower costs, and “improve safety while meeting current and future traffic demands,” the department wrote.

Though superstreet traffic starts this week, the $14.9 million project will be fully completed in spring 2022.

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