The city of Kettering plans to use eminent domain to acquire land for the $3.7 million widening of County Line Road near Miami Valley Research Park. FILE

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Kettering City Council Tuesday night approved measures to use eminent domain to buy six parcels on land to widen County Line Road.

The legislation allows Kettering’s law director to take “any action necessary for the city to immediately gain possession and ownership of the property,” including court action.

INITIAL REPORT:

The city of Kettering plans to use eminent domain to acquire land for the $3.7 million widening of County Line Road near Miami Valley Research Park.

Kettering City Council is scheduled tonight to consider legislation to buy six pieces of land along County Line for its widening from the intersection of Dorothy Lane to Vale Drive, records show.

The land is needed for right-of-way to widen the road to five lanes to improve traffic flow and accommodate future job growth at the research park, where Kettering bought about 300 undeveloped acres in 2018, said Assistant City Manager Steve Bergstresser.

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The city has been unable to reach a deal with the remaining landowners for right-of-way property, which totals 10 parcels, he said.

“Those are the only three that we haven’t been able to come an agreement with,” Bergstresser said. “All of the others that we’ve talked to have already signed.”

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For the 10 parcels combined, the city will pay about $3,000 for the widening project - which has involved the Ohio Department of Transportation - set to start next spring, Bergstresser said.

The work would result in two through lanes in each direction, plus a center turn lane, officials have said.

Miami Valley Research Park business development is the “primary reason we’re looking at this,” Bergstresser said.

“We’ve had concerns about traffic flow on County Line Road for a number of years, particularly during the evening rush hour. At times, it tends to back up pretty good as you approach the Indian Ripple/Dorothy Lane intersection,” he added.

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A traffic study “showed unacceptable level of service for traffic given the fact that we’re anticipating future development within the research park area (with) more jobs coming to the area,” Bergstresser said.

“It’s also alleviating current traffic problems. In reality, it’s more of a proactive project in anticipation of future development,” he added.

A traffic evaluation for the project showed that the area is a “critical corridor to access the Miami Valley Research Park.”

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The evaluation indicated a traffic count in the area of 16,260 vehicles per day in 2015 and an estimated 21,000 per day in 2035.

Federal and state funds will cover approximately 60 percent of the project, and the remaining cost will be shared between Kettering and Beavercreek.

The widening – weather permitting – should take about one construction season and could be complete by the fall of 2021 or the spring of 2022, Bergstresser said.

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