Kershner: Transportation and Infrastructure Drive Economic Growth


If you ask anyone in the Dayton region how long it takes to drive somewhere, the answer is usually the same, “about 20-30 minutes.” This ease of travel and efficiency is point of pride when the community is recruiting and retaining business investments. Whether your business relies on commuting employees, customer travel, supply delivery or product distribution, the Dayton area provides one of the most optimal geographic return on investments than anywhere else in the world. Over the past 20 years there has been over $1.2 billion invested in our local infrastructure network, fixing major bottlenecks like I-75 through downtown Dayton, Rt. 35 congestion, a new interchange at I-75/Austin Rd. and improvements to support our booming logistics industry. Even with these wins, strategic infrastructure investments can’t stop, we need to stay on top of our game continue to ensure the Dayton region is one of the most efficient locations to do business.

The Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce released its top transportation and infrastructure priorities that continue to position our region as a business friendly investment. Topping the infrastructure priority list are projects like a new interchange at I-675/Grange Hall Rd. This interchange is integral to supporting Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and private sector defense contractors as it will provide new and improved ingress and egress to WPAFB, relieve community congestion at peak travel times and make WPAFB more attractive to future USDOD investments. Additionally, the I-675/Wilmington Pike interchange needs increased capacity because of the exponential growth that the area surrounding the interchanged has experienced. Another key transportation investment area continues to be the logistics and light industrials areas surrounding the Dayton International Airport. Since 2015, companies like P&G, Energizer, Chewy, Crocs, Amazon and General Pet Supply have launched operations in this area. The simple reason for their investments: the ability to get product out the door and in customer hands quickly. Continued infrastructure investments in this area will ensure that the current $2.5 billion impact of our logistics industry continues to grow.

Coming down the track is a potential opportunity that the Chamber is closely monitoring. The Chamber recently supported the Ohio Rail Development Commission’s funding application for a feasibility study to review the potential commuter Amtrak expansion that will include stops Dayton, Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland.  As the Administration conducts a feasibility study, our business community will be at the table to review routes, schedules, costs and efficiencies.

Now is the time to continue investing in these key transportation and infrastructure projects in the Dayton region. With continued transportation leadership and partnerships from our Congressional delegation and our state and local transportation leaders, our region will ensure that we continue to have this strong economic development advantage for years to come.

Chris Kershner, CAE
President & CEO
Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce