Development projects set to begin in the new year will change the future of Greene County, including one that will slow traffic for years on one of the county’s busiest thoroughfares.
State officials have targeted May to begin construction on the $15 million project to transform a section of U.S. 35 into a “super street.”
U-turns will be installed to eliminate left turns at Orchard Lane and Factory Road in Beavercreek Twp. Drivers traveling from Factory or Orchard to cross U.S. 35 won’t be able to go straight through without turning right and making a U-turn.
Lane closures and traffic delays can be anticipated, and the project is not expected to be finished until June 2022, according to Brian Cunningham, spokesman for the Ohio Department of Transportation District 8.
“There will be an impact to traffic, what those will be are yet to be determined,” Cunningham said. “I’m sure there will be some lane closures and restricted movements.”
Approximately 35,950 vehicles travel that section of U.S. 35 every day, according to 2017 traffic counts provided by ODOT.
The project has been in the planning stages for years, and the mix of federal, state and local funds did not get final approvals until this year. ODOT records show there were 204 crashes, mostly rear-end collisions, from 2013-15 along the half-mile stretch of U.S. 35 between Factory Road and Orchard Lane.
Greene County Administrator Brandon Huddleson said the project will result in more commuters and better traffic flow.
“We expect to see a 23 percent increase in east/west throughput at the two affected intersections,” Huddleson said. “With fewer stops per day at those intersections, the opportunity for rear-end accidents will naturally decrease. Once the project is completed, the drive up and down U.S. 35 will be quicker and safer.”
The superstreet idea was chosen over the costlier, long-range plan to install full interchanges with on- and off-ramps at Factory and Trebein/Valley roads. That work is expected to cost between $100 to $120 million, ODOT officials have said.
“Ultimately, this is an interim measure … a lower cost safety improvement,” Cunningham said.
A new future for the career center
Work on the new $62 million Greene County Career Center at U.S. 35 and U.S. 68 is expected to begin in January and be completed by June 2020.
Construction vehicles will be flowing in and out of the property from U.S. 68 and Union Road in the southeast corner of the city of Xenia.
”Traffic studies are being prepared as a part of the project,” said GCCC Superintendent Dave Deskins. “We expect the design build firm and the city of Xenia officials will work closely with the Ohio Department of Transportation to ensure safety as a first priority.”
Deskins said the design of the 260,000-square-foot, two-story building is nearly complete. The building will incorporate natural lighting and flexible lab spaces with movable walls.
Deskins expects the career center, which will accommodate a new aerospace program, will attract “business and industry partners to locate near a potential training center and recruitment location.
“Residents can expect a facility that was designed with close attention to emerging technologies (cyper security, drone technology, robotics etc.). While our existing facilities have allowed for 51 years of training workers, this new space will keep our students and families striving to lead the region in enhanced technologies and career paths, while helping to reduce college debt for so many of our residents.”
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