By Anna DeWine
BEAVERCREEK — The City of Beavercreek, Beavercreek Township trustees and the Greene County Commissioners have come to an agreement to move forward with the ongoing plans for the US Route 35 superstreet project.
Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) originally proposed the project to reduce the number of accidents and decrease traffic and congestion problems along a dangerous stretch of Route 35, particularly at Factory Road and Orchard Lane intersections where accident numbers are high.
“We’ve seen a dramatic increase in accidents and we’ve also seen an increase in the severity of accidents. This is quite an important thing — that we do something to improve Route 35. That has been done with this and at least this is a step in the right direction,” Greene County Commissioner Bob Glaser said at the Thursday commissioners’ meeting.
ODOT’s plan includes the elimination of left turns and straight-across driving at the Factory Road and Orchard Lane intersections. Drivers who would normally make a left turn onto the main highway would instead make a right turn followed by a signal-controlled U-turn onto the main road. Factory Road and Orchard Lane intersection traffic lights would be timed to be green for longer amounts of time. The superstreet should allow 830 more vehicles per hour to travel eastbound on Route 35 through the Factory Road intersection and would yield about 20 percent more “green time” for those drivers.
“In this particular case, everybody in the county and even people who are going through the county are going to benefit from these changes,” Commissioner Tom Koogler said.
The superstreet project is just an interim solution to a much bigger plan, local officials have said, that may last ten years. Plans for a full raised highway project, which would stretch nine miles from North Fairfield Road to the Xenia Bypass, are being developed. The full long-term project is expected to cost $120 million, County Administrator Brandon Huddleson said at the Thursday Board of Commissioners meeting.
The superstreet project, which is estimated to cost a total of $15.8 million, has received a $5 million grant from ODOT, is on track to receive another $5 million from ODOT, and is receiving an additional $3 million from Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission.
As part of the agreement with the township, the commissioners have decided to allocate the entire $1.5 million to finance the local share.
The agreement with the township obligates the township to pay $250,000 as their share. They will pay $25,000 annually for ten years to repay their portion. The payment schedule begins June 2018.
The agreement with the city also obligates the city to pay $250,000. They will defer initial payments until 2021.
Reach Anna DeWine at 937-502-4498