Austin Landing traffic light part of ‘plan to create a better and safer’ environment

The long-delayed installing of the first traffic signal within Austin Landing is expected to be completed this summer, helping “create a better and safer” environment, according to the developer of the mixed-use retail complex.

The signal - to be located at the Landing Way/Liverpool Lane intersection between Kohl’s and Kroger in the development that’s home to about 2,500 jobs - was approved in 2015 following a traffic study.

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But long before then, traffic flow, congestion, and pedestrian safety were among the top concerns at the complex that now includes restaurants, shopping, entertainment, apartments, two hotels and office buildings.

“The signal has been delayed due to other issues and discussions regarding elements within Austin Landing,” Miami Twp. records show.

As the north side of the 142-acre property straddling both sides of Austin Boulevard nears full development, the new traffic signal will help “create a safer intersection,” near the eastern entrance on Ohio 741 “and to help with the increased traffic during events and the daily office commute,” according to Larry Dillin, president of Austin Landing developer VisCap Development.

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“The new light is part of an overall plan to create a better and safer traffic experience at Austin Landing,” he added.

The signal will replace a two-way stop sign for north and south traffic at the Landing/Liverpool intersection. Miami Twp. trustees last week approved a measure allowing Police Chief and Acting Administrator Ron Hess to execute an agreement with VisCap for the traffic signal.

“The agreement does lay out the developer will be solely responsible for the installation, maintenance and operation” of the signal, township Community Development Director Chris Snyder told trustees.

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A 2015 traffic study indicated the Liverpool/Landing intersection — during peak usage — handled more than 1,100 vehicles while nearly 2,100 travel through the Landing Way/Ohio 741 intersection.

That study - approved by the Montgomery County Engineer’s Office and the Ohio Department of Transportation - was done before the construction of a 108-room Staybridge Suites and The Flats at Austin Landing, a 274-unit luxury apartment complex, both located within yards of the traffic signal site.

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But it projected increases because “we know that in late 2016 we’re going to (have) many” more cars “at the intersection and you design it for that,” RG Properties President Bo Gunlock, who was in charge of Austin Landing development then, said at the time.

The estimated cost of the signal has not changed since 2015, according to VisCap. At that time, the project was expected to cost around $250,000.

That plan also called for a turn lane on Liverpool at the intersection of Landing. Another turn lane is planned on Landing at the intersection of Ohio 741, providing three turn lanes to the state route, two of which would be northbound, officials said.

It would also increase the number of pedestrian crossings.

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The work is being coordinated to be completed with the site work for the new Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant being built just north of Kohl’s, according to VisCap. The signal is expected to be completed this summer, officials said.

After construction of the traffic signal is complete, the township retains certain rights, including ownership, according to a draft of the agreement signed by Dillin earlier this month.

After the signal is installed, if “either party determines or believes that additional or modified equipment or modified timing or coordination of the equipment is necessary to improve the flow of traffic at the location, the parties shall consult on the modification felt necessary….,” the draft states.

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