ODOT: Unexpected I-75 problems mean Dayton highway work will last into 2027

Project south of downtown still slated to finish in 2025, but north section hit snag; total highway rebuild is first since late 1950s

Credit: Jim Noelker

Credit: Jim Noelker

The projected completion of the Interstate 75 reconstruction north of downtown Dayton has been pushed back by a year, with work now expected to last into summer 2027, according to the Ohio Department of Transportation.

A statement Thursday from ODOT cited “an unexpected discovery of multiple areas where the pavement thickness is deeper than anticipated,” with the agency saying the new findings will require “additional, substantial work to complete the project.”

ODOT is in the midst of a yearslong, $103 million effort to reconstruct and rehabilitate sections of I-75 just north and south of downtown Dayton.

ODOT officials say the $51.7 million reconstruction project north of downtown — 2.5 miles of I-75 from the Needmore Road exit (58) south just past the Stanley Avenue exit (56) to Leo Street — marks the first time this section of highway has been rebuilt all the way down to its base since its original installation in the late 1950s.

“Decades of projects and repairs under the roadway (surface) need to be removed before constructing a new road to ensure the integrity and longevity of the project,” ODOT officials said.

This I-75 work just north of downtown began in spring 2023 and until recently was expected to be completed in 2026. In addition to the main roadway reconstruction, the project includes replacing or upgrading storm sewers, lighting, signage, cable barriers, and doing minor bridge repairs as needed.

ODOT officials said much of the work is weather-dependent, and many tasks cannot be performed during the winter months.

“Mitigation efforts have been explored and are being implemented where feasible, but the nature of the remaining work, much of which is weather-dependent, poses further challenges,” ODOT said.

Currently, road crews are working on the interior median and reconstruction of the I-75 southbound travel lanes north of downtown. There are still three lanes in each direction between Needmore Road and Route 4. But southbound traffic in the left lane is using a “contraflow” lane for the next year that does not have access to the Needmore, Wagner Ford, Stanley, Route 4 and Main Street exits.

“We understand the importance of this project to our community and stakeholders, and we are dedicated to maintaining our standards of excellence,” ODOT officials said.

I-75 work south of Dayton

The updates announced Thursday do not affect the I-75 work south of downtown — a mix of reconstruction and simpler repaving of 4.3 miles of highway mainly between exits 47 and 50 in the Moraine area. That $47.3 million project began in summer 2022 and is on target to finish in summer 2025, according to ODOT.

That area also has a southbound “contraflow” lane that is expected to last until this fall, where drivers in the left lane cannot access certain exits.