The city of Fairborn is planning to begin construction at the end of the month on a stretch of Colonel Glenn Highway that will affect thousands of motorists and Wright State University students a day.
Approximately 22,000 vehicles travel that road daily — the second-busiest road in Fairborn — and WSU has an enrollment of about 17,600 students. The Nutter Center hosts 200 to 225 event days per year, said Jim Brown, executive director of the venue.
The project calls for repairs to a 0.7-mile stretch of Colonel Glenn Highway, from Paramount Place to just west of University Blvd. The $1.46 million project is expected to be completed by Thanksgiving, according to Lee Harris, Fairborn’s civil engineer.
Improvements to Colonel Glenn Highway include: resurfacing and restriping the road; replacing and installing new curbs and gutters; sidewalk installation; crosswalk enhancements; and installation of three curbed islands in the center median, with water lines and electrical conduit available for landscaping.
Traffic will be maintained throughout the project, but access to entrances off of Colonel Glenn Highway may be temporarily closed at signalized intersections, Harris said. The speed limit is 45 miles per hour through that stretch.
“It will be a much smoother and safer corridor,” Harris said. “A lot of students use these intersections for lunch and anything else over there. This will make it more of a campus feel through there.”
Fairborn was awarded a $400,000 grant from the Ohio Public Works Commission, and the remaining balance will be paid out of the motor vehicle license tax fund ($967,000) and water construction fund ($93,500).
City Council awarded the construction contract last month to R.B. Jergens. R.B. Jergens’ bid was $1.39 million, and the city added a 5 percent contingency due to underground work. A pre-construction meeting is scheduled for March 18, Harris said.
Fairborn Mayor Dan Kirkpatrick said the improvements will make Colonel Glenn Highway more “student-friendly” to cross the street and use businesses.
“The whole idea is to make it safer for anybody crossing the street or driving down there,” Kirkpatrick said.
Dan Papay, WSU’s engineer, said the university will encourage students and faculty to use the Kauffman Avenue or Ohio 844 entrances. He said the university expects disruptions — just like any road project — but Colonel Glenn Highway is due for improvements.
“I’m not sure it’s particularly inviting to cross a four-lane road,” Papay said. “Putting in a median will calm the traffic and slow it down perhaps. It might make it more inviting to cross.”