Public hearing set on Ohio 444 project


Residents will get an opportunity to ask questions and voice concerns about the relocation of a mile-and-a-half stretch of Ohio 444 during a public hearing today.

The Ohio Department of Transportation will facilitate the meeting.

The reroute of Ohio 444 – which is designed to enhance security around Wright-Patterson Air Force Base – is expected to take place in early October, the city said.

The current Ohio 444 will close at Dayton-Yellow Springs Road. The new Ohio 444 will then begin at the Dayton-Yellow Springs Road and Kauffman Avenue intersection, continue along Kauffman to Central Avenue and west onto Dayton Drive.

The Ohio 444 relocation has been a controversial topic among Fairborn residents and business owners since the Air Force revealed its intentions more than two years ago to shut down that stretch of road that serves the city’s business district.

“This won’t go without the challenges of rerouting and traffic flow,” said Pete Bales, the city’s public administrative services director. “Obviously, there’s going to be a learning curve getting around the city in a different direction. It will have a positive economic impact on the Kauffman Avenue corridor. All of this is going to be a situation where we’re going to put the best management practices into place.”

There will be no cost to the city at this time, city officials said. The portion of Ohio 444 that will be closed off – which currently bisects Area A – is on federal land.

City Manager Deborah McDonnell said ODOT will fund the restriping of the road, while city staff will handle the resignalization of the three intersections: Dayton-Yellow Springs/Kauffman; Central/Dayton; and Dayton/Broad Street.

After the reroute, ODOT will conduct more studies to measure the success of the restriping and resignalization.

ODOT project manager Jay Hamilton said it could take up to three months “after the base closes 444 before we have a handle of what we need to do.”

“The good part is, we’ll go into it with a better handle on it when the traffic has settled in so we’re not overbuilding or underbuilding,” Hamilton said.

Further construction work – such as widening the road, creating additional turn lanes or even acquiring properties – could be done, and Hamilton said the issue is going to be funding if “millions of dollars” are required to make the necessary improvements.

“We want to make sure we’re spending taxpayers’ dollars as wisely as possible,” McDonnell said. “Rather than make a large number of assumptions about traffic, we want to work together to monitor the traffic and monitor the intersections to ensure the design of those intersections is done properly the first time and not spend any more money than we really need.”

The project will bring the WPAFB perimeter fence across Ohio 444 behind the Exxon Mobil Gas Station at the Ohio 444 and Dayton-Yellow Springs Road intersection. Access to the gas station will not be affected.

A new gate, which will become the new Gate 1A, will be built on Ohio 444 adjacent to the commissary.

“This project will join Area A and Kittyhawk and provide for needed security enhancements,” Mark Mays, 88 Civil Engineer Directorate, said in a statement. “The closure of a portion of Ohio 444 will enable the construction of a new Gate 1A with prescribed security features.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in News

Georgia State soccer player withdraws from school after backlash over racial epithet
Georgia State soccer player withdraws from school after backlash over racial epithet

A Georgia State University soccer player who was suspended from the team after she used a racial epithet on social media has withdrawn from the school, officials said. Some students had called for the expulsion of 18-year-old freshman defender Natalia Martinez after the epithet appeared on her Finsta page, a secret version of Instagram that...
Chance for rain, snow showers today with gusty winds
Chance for rain, snow showers today with gusty winds

More showers arrive this morning Dry and warming up to end week More rain for weekend TODAY: Another batch of light showers off to the west will move in early this morning, said Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini. Showers today will mainly fall as rain, but at times a mix with wet snow flakes can occur. An accumulation isn’t expected...
Heath Ledger's sister remembers him 10 years after his death
Heath Ledger's sister remembers him 10 years after his death

Heath Ledger’s sister, Kate Ledger, is opening up about how his family is honoring his memory 10 years after his death. Kate opened up for a rare interview with WHO last week before the 10th anniversary of her brother’s Jan. 22, 2008, death. She told the publication that keeping Ledger’s memory alive in her home has...
Florida woman, 81, smashes car into McDonald's: 'Glass flew everywhere'
Florida woman, 81, smashes car into McDonald's: 'Glass flew everywhere'

An 81-year-old woman suffered minor injuries after she lost control of her Toyota Solara and backed into the glass windows of a McDonald’s west of Boynton Beach, Florida, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. >> Read more Floridoh! stories The woman will be charged with careless driving, PBSO spokesperson Teri...
Clark County Pet of the Week
Clark County Pet of the Week

Meet Dolly. She is an adorable Pit mix whose personality is the size of Texas. Dolly is playful and loving and lives for a good gossip. She enjoys her walks and playtime so much. Dolly has a favorite blanket and definitely cannot have enough toys. She does okay with most dogs, but really, is looking for a home to be pampered in by herself. Dolly is...
More Stories