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Union road work may get second shot at Ohio funds

The Montgomery County Transportation Improvement District plans to apply again to the state of Ohio for funds to widen Old Springfield Road, accommodating a $90 million distribution center being built nearby, the TID executive director said Monday.

The last time the TID applied to the state’sTransportation Review Advisory Council for widening Old Springfield, the district didn’t yet know who was developing the building there, said Steve Stanley, who runs the TID.

The initial application had been made on a “speculative basis” and “didn’t score well” in the TRAC process, Stanley said. The TRAC committee annually picks which highway and road projects will receive state funding.

Now, with California-based industrial developer Prologis spearheading the Union project, a new TRAC application would be on firmer footing, Stanley believes.

The original application sought $16 million to widen Old Springfield — today, a two-lane road in northern Montgomery County — to three to five lanes. A new TRAC application could be for about the same amountor less, Stanley said.

Prologis began work last fall on a 1.8 million-square-foot-distribution center in Union. The site is expected to employ more than 1,000 people on behalf of a client who has not been officially named.

Prologis calls itself the nation’s largest owner, operator and developer of industrial real estate. It expects its client to be operating at the Union center by the end of 2014. The site is at Union’s Global Logistics Airpark, adjacent to Dayton International Airport.

Also Monday, Stanley said the TID hasn’t been asked to be involved with any transportation work related to accommodating Fuyao Glass’s expected 1.4-million-square-foot manufacturing operation at Progress Park, a former General Motors plant in Moraine.

But if the TID were asked, it would certainly get involved, he added.

“Obviously, it’s a high enough priority for the region if somebody asked us to do that,” Stanley said.

Fuyao Chairman Cao Dewang and Stu Lichter, Progress Park owner, signed an agreement Friday at the Ohio Statehouse affirming Fuyao’s plan to buy part of the plant and begin operations there by mid-2015, employing an expected 800 workers.

Paul Groaner, Montgomery County engineer, said Monday he didn’t think the county would be involved in any new roadwork to the former GM plant.

A message seeking comment was left with Moraine development director Mike Davis.

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