US 40 expansion kicks off Tuesday

This is the facility that arguably started it all: When P&G opened its Union distribution center in 2015, it led the way for several big distribution centers near Dayton International Airport. LISA POWELL / STAFF

Project will widen US 40, create a new commercial gateway near airport

The kickoff to what might be seen as the creation of a gateway to commercial development north of Dayton gets underway Tuesday.

Leaders of Dayton and Montgomery County will gather to formally launch a $14.9 million infrastructure project to widen U.S. 40 to five lanes, boosting access from Union Airpark Boulevard to the Dayton International Airport Access Road.

Since Procter & Gamble opened its Union distribution center in that area five years ago, further distribution and manufacturing projects employing some 2,000 to 2,500 workers have followed.

More are expected, in time.

All that business means traffic — traffic by workers and plenty of tractor trailers going to and from several big facilities near the airport.

“It’s important because expansion of the roadway will enable better and safer travel around the Dayton airport and all the industrial land that’s available there,” Steve Stanley, executive director of the Montgomery County Transportation Improvement District (TID), said Monday. “We’ve had a great deal of success in recent years in the location of large new businesses on the northern and western sides of the airport, and actually on the airport property.”

He added, “There are thousands of more acres there available to be developed.”

To kick off the project, county and local officials will meet at the 154,000-square-foot West National Road plant of plastics manufacturer Alpla Inc. — a plant where construction was completed in 2019.

Alpla is emblematic of the big plants in that area, along with Chewy, P&G and Crocs.

The idea behind the project is straightforward enough: Expand U.S. 40 to five lanes and improve ramps from Union Airpark Boulevard to the airport Access Road interchange. The goal is easier access to and from the locale around the airport.

Local contractor R.B. Jergens was selected for this project by the Montgomery County TID, which will oversee the work. Construction starts in November, with planned completion in the spring of 2022.

Traffic will be maintained on U.S. 40, although lane closures and shifts may be needed.

To secure the local funding for the project, Montgomery county commissioners approved a loan from the Ohio Department of Transportation’s State Infrastructure Bank, which provides low interest loans for local governments to invest in infrastructure.

The total investment in the project from ODOT will be $11.3 million, which includes $1.4 million already spent on engineering, environmental and right-of-way work.

The project’s main source of funding is ODOT, which is providing $9.8 million.

Under an agreement reported by the Dayton Daily News in September, the city of Dayton will pay $500,000 incrementally to support road maintenance, Union and Montgomery County will both pitch in $700,000, JobsOhio, the state’s private jobs creation arm, will contribute a $600,000 grant and Vandalia will chip in $200,000.

In Other News