U.S. 35 superstreet project receives state funding


By Nathan Pilling - npilling@civitasmedia.com



Current-state Ohio Department of Transportation plans for superstreets on U.S. Route 35 would see the elimination of left turns and straight-across driving at the Route 35 and Factory Road and Orchard Lane intersections.


File photo

Current-state Ohio Department of Transportation plans for superstreets on U.S. Route 35 would see the elimination of left turns and straight-across driving at the Route 35 and Factory Road and Orchard Lane intersections.


File photo

XENIA — The superstreet project for U.S. Route 35 in Beavercreek Township has received a $5 million commitment in state funding.

The funding, which comes by way of the Ohio Department of Transportation’s Highway Safety Improvement Program, represents nearly half the estimated cost for the highway upgrades, about $12.5 million.

According to ODOT representative Keith Smith, the project will next go to ODOT’s Transportation Review Advisory Council (TRAC) in coming months for about $5 million in additional funding. Commitments from local entities in the $2-2.5 million range would also be added to the funding, according to ODOT spokesman Brian Cunningham.

Smith said the plans will be sold as a “design-build” project in 2018 for construction in 2019, contingent on the TRAC funding approval.

ODOT first floated the idea for the project at community meetings in February. With no strong opposition to the project, ODOT officials continued developing the idea and applied for the safety funding.

The superstreet concept forces a driver who wants to make a left turn onto a main highway to instead make a right turn followed by a signal-controlled U-turn onto that main road. The proposed project would see the elimination of left turns and straight-across driving at the Route 35 and Factory Road and Orchard Lane intersections in favor of the U-turn access.

The traffic lights at the Factory and Orchard intersections would be timed to be green for drivers on Route 35 for longer amounts of time, with the goal of reducing congestion and accidents. According to Cunningham, the superstreet project is seen as an “interim approach” to reduce the number of crashes in the Factory/Orchard area while a full raised highway interchange project is pursued.

According to a recent ODOT presentation, over a three-year period, there was an average of 100 rear-end accidents per year in the Factory/Orchard area.

According to ODOT information, compared to the roadway’s current state, a superstreet would allow about 830 more vehicles per hour to travel eastbound on Route 35 through the Factory Road intersection and would yield about 20 percent more “green” time to those drivers. The new intersections would both reduce the number of “conflict points” from 32 to 14.

Both ODOT and local officials have said they see the superstreet project as an interim solution for 10 years or more, while plans and funding for the full interchange project – stretching about nine miles from North Fairfield Road to the Xenia Bypass – are developed further (some estimates have put the price tag for that project as high as $140 million).

Current-state Ohio Department of Transportation plans for superstreets on U.S. Route 35 would see the elimination of left turns and straight-across driving at the Route 35 and Factory Road and Orchard Lane intersections.

http://xeniagazette.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/web1_route1.jpg

Current-state Ohio Department of Transportation plans for superstreets on U.S. Route 35 would see the elimination of left turns and straight-across driving at the Route 35 and Factory Road and Orchard Lane intersections. File photo

Current-state Ohio Department of Transportation plans for superstreets on U.S. Route 35 would see the elimination of left turns and straight-across driving at the Route 35 and Factory Road and Orchard Lane intersections.

http://xeniagazette.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/web1_route2.jpg

Current-state Ohio Department of Transportation plans for superstreets on U.S. Route 35 would see the elimination of left turns and straight-across driving at the Route 35 and Factory Road and Orchard Lane intersections. File photo

By Nathan Pilling

npilling@civitasmedia.com

Reach Nathan Pilling at 937-502-4498 or on Twitter @XDGNatePilling.

Reach Nathan Pilling at 937-502-4498 or on Twitter @XDGNatePilling.

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