A study designed to improve a gateway to the Dayton Mall area will move forward, the first step in implementing the district's master plan.
Ohio 725 from Byers Road to Ohio 741 – which includes Interstate 75's Exit 44 – is a significant stretch of thoroughfare for the mall area. More than 84,000 vehicles on I-75 use or cross that interchange daily, according to the Ohio Department of Transportation's website.
The traffic flow on that short section of Ohio 725 and its lack of pedestrian access are among the reasons those overseeing the mall area plan said that project is more critical as a starting point for what Miami Twp.-Dayton Mall Joint Economic Development District Board Chairman Tracy Williams called "a long journey."
The Ohio 725 upgrades are “going to be a long-term project that could take several years,” said JEDD board member Chris Snyder, the township’s community development director.
The master plan for the mall area, which is being rebranded as Miami Crossing, outlines short- and long-term improvements for the business district that studies have shown can support about $200 million in investment over 12 years.
For the Ohio 725 study, board members of the JEDD – a joint agreement between Miamisburg and the township — approved a plan for a project management agreement with the Montgomery County Transportation Improvement District.
The process is likely to involve ODOT and other entities that could have impact on timetables and funding issues, Snyder said.
“We don’t want to miss out on any opportunities,” he said. “The sooner we can get the plans done, the sooner we can get in the cycle” for moving the project forward.
During the study, which will cost $36,000, the TID will “assist in the development of specific studies and other analysis for roadway projects identified” in the mall area plan.
The work will include looking at “pedestrian access and other enhancements,” said TID Executive Director Steve Stanley.
“This is an issue that should be addressed – if it can be – from a public safety perspective,” he said. “We have people who walk underneath that bridge in the right of way every day. And we need to see if there are ways we can make improvements to make that a safer traverse.
“That’s a pure engineering look at the physical configuration and are there alternatives that can provide for that safely without disrupting the functioning of the bridge or in any way threatening the roadway operation.”
While no schedule has been established, Stanley said he expects the study to begin next month and to be completed by the fall.
The JEDD also approved contracting with Think Patented to run point on the Miami Crossing branding efforts. The Miamisburg company will be paid up to $23,000 to help provide “a more recognizable identity for the area” and “services in the development of a marketing plan for the Miami Crossing district consistent” with the master plan, documents show.
This will include developing and hosting a website for the district and various other marketing functions, Snyder said.