With a roundabout plan in place, what’s next for this busy Xenia intersection?

Rendering of proposed roundabout to be installed at North Columbus and East Church streets in Xenia.

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Rendering of proposed roundabout to be installed at North Columbus and East Church streets in Xenia.

The city of Xenia is working with landowners to acquire the property necessary to install a roundabout at a busy intersection north of downtown, which it has studied to determine traffic flow.

The city is working with the Ohio Department of Transportation to finalize plans to build the roundabout at the four-way stop of North Columbus (U.S. 42) and East Church streets.

It’s a $1.1 million project, to be paid for mostly with federal gas tax revenue, with construction tentatively scheduled to begin next summer and last a year.

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The city has reached agreements with “fair market value” offers with owners of four of the eight properties needed for either temporary or permanent right-of-ways, said Xenia spokesperson Lee Warren.

Negotiations are ongoing for the city to acquire at least portions of the other four properties. Eminent domain, in which a governing body can acquire private property when direct negotiations fail, appears to be an option the city is willing to consider. Even through eminent domain, cities must compensate the owner of the private property being acquired.

“The city is hopeful that final settlements can be reached without any appropriation action(s),” Warren said.

Officials said costs associated with acquiring land were factored into the total estimated cost of the project.

The Dayton Daily News requested and obtained results from a traffic study that was submitted with the federal grant request in July 2017. Further, city officials have provided some statistics on crashes and repair needs at the intersection.

In the past two years, there have been four crashes at the intersection, Warren said.

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During the last nine years, the city’s street maintenance supervisor estimated their crews have responded 12 times to make repairs to the guardrail in the southwest corner of the intersection. Warren said that indicates motorists “traverse the intersection at an unsafe speed.”

The traffic study included traffic counts conducted on two Wednesdays, one in April 2017 and one in May 2017, according to city records.

The study, which studied the number of vehicles that passed in a 24-hour period, shows 3,922 vehicles traveled U.S. 42 south of Church Street, and 6,190 traveled the federal byway north of Church Street.

On Church Street west of U.S. 42, 3,416 vehicles passed, while 722 passed through on Church east of U.S. 42, according to the records.

The study indicates most vehicles passing through were passenger vehicles and there will be a 15 percent increase in the average daily traffic at the intersection from 2010 to 2040.

The study also shows most vehicles were traveling less than 35 mph (vehicles approaching the intersection from the northeast on U.S. 42 averaged slightly above 35 mph).

The grant that the city received for this project is a “safety grant” aimed at improving the safety and function of the intersection, which is “the primary goal of the roundabout project,” Warren said.

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The intersection was recommended for improvement in 2013 and the city received “an extensive amount of community input,” Warren said.

“The roundabout design happened to be the safest and most cost effective solution for the intersection,” he said. “It just so happens that the roundabout design also dovetails with the city’s goal to improve aesthetics in a part of Xenia that has been overlooked.”

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