Finally! Three lanes on US 35

DAYTON, Ohio (November 2017) – Congratulations to the region ? US 35 widening from I-675 west to Steve Whalen Blvd. has taken a great step forward to three lanes.

The widening to three lanes from the Greene County line at I-675 toward downtown Dayton has for years been the number one project for MVRPC; the number one project for Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) District 7; and the number one project for the region?s chamber of commerce. It seems when government and the private sector agree on something of importance, and when good people work on good ideas, good results happen.

US 35, the third busiest highway in our nine county region (after I-75 and I-70) per ODOT, handles over 68,000 cars and trucks daily, the majority coming from or going to or through Greene County. An important fix was the recently approved ?super-street? along US 35 in Beavercreek that will improve its flow by 70-80 percent. This project will begin in 2019 and be completed in 2021 at a much reduced cost of about $15 million versus the original plan of $120 million. Something had to be done there as the traffic from or through Greene County was 40,000 daily of the 68,000 and included the only at-grade traffic lights from Dayton east to the Ohio River. The combined use of local, regional, state and federal resources became the funding mechanism for this improvement.

This new stretch inside I-675 is one of the last major highway pinch-points not having been addressed in our region, now that I-70 west and east of I-75 into Clark County is planned for improvements or has been completed.

The original cost of the US 35 Montgomery County widening project would have been about $27 million, but through more modern practical design engineering by ODOT, the newly revised construction costs have been reduced down to half that amount or $14 million. Brian Martin, Carol Graff and the other leaders of our regional Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) MVRPC have worked together with ODOT District 7, TRAC and others to fix this heavily congested section of our highway system. All should be commended for their leadership, vision and creativity.

We will have to be patient yet a bit longer as this project will not get funded until 2024. But this fix, along with the Greene County project by 2021, will make significant improvements to our east/west burgeoning traffic congestion. MVRPC leaders will learn shortly from other leaders that this will give rise to another Greene County project near the Grange Hall and I-675 area of Beavercreek and Fairborn that will get elevated up to a high priority status through our regional efforts to enhance and protect WPAFB jobs going forward.

Some of us may not be able to witness all of these positive changes during our elected or professional service years, but we know our decisions now will improve our region?s infrastructure needs well into the future. For those who may not understand the importance of the flow of US 35 in both Greene and Montgomery, you must not be one of the almost 70,000 and growing users who drive it daily. They know and they thank our regionally focused leaders for making this a top priority and fixing this bottle-neck.

To download a PDF of this article as it appeared in the Dayton Daily News, click here.

Phillip L. Parker, CAE, CCE

President & CEO

Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce