By Linda J. Hutchinson
The first two projects destined to improve “Malfunction Junction” in downtown Dayton, Ohio, are under way. Phase 1A and the Stanley Avenue project are the first two portions of a 10 to 12-year plan to modernize I-75 in western Ohio.
Work began on Phase 1A in October 2007 and is slated for completion in October 2011. The Ohio Department of Transportation has estimated construction costs to be $122 million, with an expected overall cost of $157 million.
Project limits for the first phase run from Riverview Avenue to the south and Leo Street to the north. Improvements also will be made on Main Street between Great Miami Blvd. and Babbit Street.
“The Stanley Avenue project is a separate project from the I-75 Phase 1A project. However, we combined the two projects for our monthly updates,” said Denise Heitkamp, public information officer at ODOT district 7. “The motoring public views it as one project since the two connect. There are barrels from Stanley all the way to downtown Dayton.”
Improvements to the Stanley Avenue interchange are estimated to cost $17 million.
“Interstate 75 through downtown Dayton was originally constructed in the 1950’s and was designed for the best traffic projections at the time. Today, nearly 50 years later, the interstate remains unchanged, but the volume of traffic has increased to approximately 124,000 vehicles per day, far beyond the numbers expected,” said ODOT District 7 Deputy Director Rex Dickey.
Restructuring and easing the 90 degree angle of the northbound curve on I-75 at SR 4 is expected to reduce congestion and improve traffic flow. Data show this project has the potential to reduce fatal and injury crashes by 25 percent, rear end crashes by 41 percent, and all crashes by 17 percent.
Circle ramps and left-side entrances have been or will be removed and replaced with right-hand entrances and exits. Ramps have been permanently removed at Neva Drive and Leo/Hillrose Street to allow for better traffic flow in the future, as well as to meet future traffic needs. ODOT believes the increased spacing between ramps and the new consolidated local access will relate to better traffic flow, less congestion and fewer crashes.
Additional lanes in each direction are being added to increase capacity. The existing northbound lanes crossing over the Great Miami River have been reconstructed and are being utilized as ramps.
Main Street (S.R. 48) is being widened to improve the S.R. 48 entrance and exit ramps. Existing Grand Avenue ramps are being combined with those of S.R. 48.
Construction on the revised I-75/Stanley Avenue interchange began in January 2008 and is expected to be complete in fall 2009. This portion of the combined project includes bridge replacement over the Great Miami River, as well as new traffic signals, new lighting and two new retaining walls. Traffic lane shifts will continue for the duration of the project.
Exterior halves of the old and deteriorating bridge over the Great Miami River have been demolished. General contractor Kokosing has placed the new cofferdams in the river and can now access the new piers. Kokosing is currently working on the installation of the new piers, with pile driving continuing for the new pier footers. As soon as the footers are in place, it will pour the concrete for the new piers, according to ODOT’s Heitkamp.
Several commercial and residential buildings were demolished to make way for the new freeway construction. Included was one building in the Dayton Metropolitan Housing Authority (DMHA) Parkside Homes complex, and the old Reynolds & Reynolds building.
Funded and scheduled for a spring 2009 start is the nearby I-75/Austin Pike Interchange project consisting of a new diamond interchange on I-75 at Miamisburg-Springboro Road/Austin Pike in southern Montgomery County. Work is scheduled to be complete by fall 2010. The estimated overall cost is $43.9 million.
Currently under development and dependent upon funding is the I-75 and South Dixie Drive/Central Avenue Interchange. Estimated project cost is $26.4 million.
For more information contact Denise Heitkamp at 614/497-6770 or Barb Elliston at 614/497-6820 or visit www.dot.state.oh.us/districts/d07. CEG