Derr Road corridor improvement project put on hold due to inflation, lack of funding sources

Derr Road between Home Road and Villa Road.  BILL LACKEY/STAFF

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Derr Road between Home Road and Villa Road. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

City of Springfield to proceed with pavement condition improvement

Plan development for a proposed $3.9 million improvement project for the Derr Road corridor has been suspended due to inflation and a lack of state and federal funding to cover the project.

The proposed project sought to improve vehicle safety, pavement conditions and access to bicycle and pedestrian ways through the Derr Road corridor, stretching from Home to Villa roads. Construction of the project was proposed for next summer.

The city sent a letter to area residents in June flagging them to the suspension.

Financing for the project, which was slated to begin construction next year, is unclear. A mix of federal, state and city funds were necessary for construction, right-of-way acquisition and engineering, and “no commitments” have been made from these funding sources, according to the city letter.

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Leo Shanayda/Contributed

Leo Shanayda/Contributed

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Leo Shanayda/Contributed

“The Derr Road Corridor Improvements project is still seen as an important project to the city of Springfield,” said city engineer Leo Shanayda in the letter. “The proposed project is in the long-range transportation plan for the city.”

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The proposed roadway improvement project consists of a full-depth pavement replacement from Home Road to Villa Road, with an insertion of a two-way left turn lane. Adjustments were proposed near Greystone Drive and the existing traffic signal at the Derr Road and Providence Avenue intersection would have been removed. A marked pedestrian crossing with a raised concrete median and rectangular rapid flashing beacon signs was also proposed for Providence Avenue to provide safety measures for crossing Derr Road.

The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), a sponsor of the project, confirmed the project’s suspension on Wednesday.

Between 2016 and 2018, 67 crashes occurred in the proposed project area, according to ODOT. Nearly 33% (22 crashes) of those resulted in an injury. About 50% (34 crashes) were left or right turning, or angle crashes.

These types of crashes occurred when vehicles turned left or right at intersections, into driveways, and out of driveways. The next most common crash type was rear-end crashes: 22 crashes in total. There are 54 driveways between Home Road and Villa Road, according to ODOT.

Currently, left-turning vehicles block the interior lanes to access drives, and unexpected stopping occurs within these interior lanes, according to ODOT.

The city said that the initial design work, environmental studies and other steps made toward the proposed projects will be used to advance the project when “funding sources have been secured,” the letter said.

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If new federal transportation funds are secured for the project, the city will notify the public and open another opportunity for public comment on the project, according to the letter.

The city of Springfield will proceed with $2 million worth of pavement condition improvements in the Derr Road corridor, installing sidewalks on both sides of the road where it currently doesn’t exist, upgrading curb ramps at intersections, addressing deteriorating drainage structures, and milling asphalt, according to the city.

Pavement work will begin after July 2023 if the city obtains grant funding from the Ohio Public Works Commission. If grant funding isn’t awarded to the city, pavement work will begin next spring, according to a city spokesperson. The city’s portion of funding of the roughly $2 million project will come from its public improvement fund.

By the Numbers:

2: The cost, in millions, of the expected pavement improvements on Derr Road.

3.9: The cost, in millions, of the proposed Derr Road Corridor Improvement project

22: The number of injury crashes that occurred in the project area from 2016 to 2018

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