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Street linking I-675, WPAFB to get $1.5M upgrade

The city of Fairborn is planning to spend nearly $1.5 million upgrading six intersections along Broad Street that city officials say will lead to more efficient traffic flow and help spur redevelopment.

The Broad Street signal interconnect project for the mile-and-a-half stretch consists of improving the intersections of Highview Drive, Central Avenue, Hebble Avenue, Xenia Drive, Main Street and Dayton Drive.

Chris Wimsatt, the city’s economic development director, said that corridor needs to be looked at “strategically” because it leads into the 24-hour gate at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and Interstate 675.

He said he’d like to see public event space developed along Broad Street, as well as businesses that complement those downtown. The city recently received a $50,000 grant from the Ohio Developmental Services Agency for redevelopment projects on Broad Street.

“There’s a variety of different zoning uses over there and a number of parcels that have not received significant investment over the years, thus making them not as high quality as they could be,” Wimsatt said. “We owe it to those businesses that are doing well to figure out what to do with properties that aren’t doing well.”

The city’s engineering department is soliciting bids for the signal interconnect project design phase, and construction is expected to begin by the fall. All work should be completed by the end of the year, City Engineer Jim Sawyer said.

The city was awarded a grant of $902,440 from the Federal Highway Administration, while the remaining balance of $595,680 will come from the county motor vehicle license tax funds.

Sawyer said the city expects to receive the grant money after July 1. The average daily traffic count for Broad Street ranges from 8,000 to 10,000 vehicles.

“That corridor is heavily commercial,” Sawyer said. “It’s a main thoroughfare from I-675 to the base. We expect more traffic there and we’re trying to improve that area. We want that to develop.”

New traffic signals will be installed and controlled via fiber optics cable to new control cabinets. The cabinets will feature battery back-up systems, new pedestrian signals, video vehicle detection systems and wireless communication to the government center for remote monitoring.

The city said the changes will reduce traffic delays and enhance motorist safety.

“It will be a benefit to the community in general,” Sawyer said. “It fits into our thoroughfare plan, and it’s another aspect in our path to make Fairborn more vibrant, more developable and a noticed community.”

Earlier this month, City Council approved a resolution agreeing to comply with Ohio Department of Transportation requirements, such as design standards and contractor selection.

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