Parker: Infrastructure Upgrades Enhance Our Economy

I wanted to share with you an update on several important infrastructure improvements that are already beginning that will serve our region well for years to come.  Along with several of our key partners, we have been strong advocates for these roadway improvements that will help not only our logistics and manufacturing companies move their goods, but these upgrades will be important for our workers, their personal and professional productivity and families.

In recent years, you have heard many of us demand upgrades to Route 35, our third busiest highway in the region behind 75 and 70.  We have also known for years that the last pinch point on 35 from Dayton east to the Ohio River was in Beavercreek.  That project is finally kicking off this month and will create a “superstreet” between Factory and Orchard Lane that will improve safety and traffic flow by 75 percent or more.  This project should be fully completed by late 2022. This project, along with the now-funded expansion to three full lanes of 35 from Steve Whalen Blvd. east to I-675, will also ease daily congestion and our frustrations when moving to and from downtown Dayton on 35.

Both of these upgrades have been high priorities with community leaders, showing what we can do if we all come together to prioritize our important needs.  Each of these projects was also re-engineered for creative savings of millions of our taxpayer dollars.  Our thanks should be extended to our Greene and Montgomery County leaders, the MVRPC (Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission) as well as ODOT (Ohio Department of Transportation) Districts 7 and 8 and ODOT TRAC (Transportation Review Advisory Council) officials in Ohio.  All of us, including our region’s chamber of commerce, came together to reach these goals of improving traffic flow and safety in our region.

You should also keep your eye on what’s happening in our northern parts of Montgomery County near the airport.  With the creation already of more than 2,300 jobs and plans for more, we advocated the need to expand Route 40 to serve those employers and their employees.  Thanks go out to the cooperation between the cities of Dayton and Vandalia, Montgomery County, the TID (Montgomery County Transportation Improvement District) and again ODOT for investing in this much-needed infrastructure for our growing logistics industry.  Another good example of government and the private sector working together.

We have successfully continued to work together on multiple projects that will improve our lives and opportunities to expand our area’s economy.  This success sure beats the heck out of those old days when we argued just to be disagreeable.  These successful upgrades will certainly help relieve our headaches and frustrations when using our freeways; but believe me we have more yet to do, especially with the infrastructure supporting WPAFB and its 30,000 employees.  Look for future additional roadway improvements coming there, too.  I hope you can be patient with all this construction.  Trust me … in the long run it will be well worth all of our community’s efforts and persistence.

Phillip L. Parker, CAE, CCE
President and CEO
Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce

Download a PDF of this article as it appeared in the Dayton Daily News.