Construction crews are setting up this week for the beginning of two years of construction on a $15 million”superstreet” on U.S. 35.
This is the first sign of resolution of two decades of debate about what to do about traffic and safety problems on this stretch of east-west highway from Dayton into Greene County.
“It’s always been something the state and the region have wanted to accomplish,” Beavercreek Mayor Bob Stone said Tuesday.
Temporary pavement and concrete barriers are being set down, along with bridge and electrical work. The improvements are to include two superstreet intersections on the section of U.S. 35 between Factory Road and Orchard Lane - most of which is in Beavercreek Twp.
Eastbound lane closures are to be in place through Friday for this phase of the project.
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"Traffic movements in superstreet intersections prohibit side-street (minor cross street) traffic to turn left or go straight through the mainline intersection," according to the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT)." Instead, motorists will turn right and do a legal U-turn at a nearby one-way, signalized median crossover."
Beavercreek contributed $250,000 to this project, while also funding the realignment and extension of Shakertown Road to Factory and Alpha Bellbrook roads. This $4 million project, expected to serve as an alternative during the superstreet construction, is to be completed this summer.
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Beavercreek Township also contributed $250,000 for the superstreet. Greene County Commissioners put in $1 million, the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission $3 million, ODOT just under $10.5 million.
The superstreet design can be built more quickly and at a lower cost than a full highway interchange, particularly through an area, like this one, where commercial development would otherwise have to have been relocated, officials said.
In addition to reducing traffic through this stretch - typically traveled by about 44,000 vehicles a day - the improvements, including widening and work on the Factory Road bridge, are expected to improve safety by reducing from 32 to 14 the number of potential crash points.
Traffic signals at Factory and Orchard will be removed.
While hesitant to question the “gift horse,” Stone said the work might better have started east of here at the Trebein Road intersection, where land for a full interchange was available and the need for road improvements more urgent.
Thousands of new homes are anticipated in Beavercreek Twp., with resulting pressure on the school district.
Stone, who also served as a Beavercreek Twp. trustee in about two decades in local office, predicted the new road design will give drivers pause.
“It will take the locals a little time to get used to it,” he said. “People will still stop, look and go.”
ODOT expects the improvements to ease traffic and improve safety.
“People wanted something done,” ODOT Public Information Officer Kathleen Fuller said. “This is something we can get done more quickly.”
ODOT settled on this project four years ago. Work is to be completed in Spring 2022.
RELATED: Superstreet could relieve U.S. 35 traffic
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