Greene County Commissioners commit funds to potential project

By Darryl McGee - [email protected]

XENIA — Greene County Commissioners recently committed $6.4 million to help construct an interchange in the area of U.S. 35 and Valley and Trebein roads.

“It is one of the most dangerous intersections in the county,” Commissioner Dick Gould said. “Building the overpass will be a catalyst for the region and not just Greene County.”

The intent of the estimated $32 million project is to replace the existing at-grade intersection with an interchange over U.S. 35.

“This project is highly important to the safety of the traveling public in and thru Greene County and is to save lives,” Greene County Engineer Stephanie Ann Goff said. “This proposed interchange is part of the final component of the long-term project to upgrade U.S. 35 from I-75 (Dayton) to I-64 (Charleston, W.Va.). I believe we are providing a strong application to the TRAC (Transportation Review Advisory Council) committee for construction funding and we want to thank the Greene County Commissioners for their support and financial commitment of 20 percent local funding for the project.”

Gould called committing the money an “easy decision” and said the project would consist of on and off ramps for U.S. 35 and Trebein. Around 600 acres of land would be prime for development. The project is close to the Lewis A. Jackson Regional Airport, which is seen as a potential catalyst for defense contracts.

The potential project is on the current TRAC application, which opened March 1. The due date for applications is March 26.

For all applications submitted to TRAC, application scoring and regional hearings will be held by the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT). A draft list of projects will come out in July and the final list will be presented in August.

The interchange is not a new idea. Intersection improvement was actually identified in the 1976 and 1987 Thoroughfare Plans as a proposed and needed improvement. In 2018, ODOT TRAC awarded funds for the design and right of way for the project. In the 2017 Highway Safety Improvement Plan, the intersection ranked 105th in the state for suburban intersections for crashes from 2013-2017.

“The types of crashes that occur at this intersection unfortunately are severe as many involve semis. There is also capacity issues with the current intersection which adds to the safety issues,” Goff said. “During peak times, vehicles back up beyond Dayton-Xenia Road, up the off ramp on U.S. 35, and on U.S. 35 toward Dayton. Many safety improvements have occurred to this intersection such as additional signage, flashing signage, etc. However, safety issues still exist and congestion continues.”

In the past, ODOT District 8 has presented the project to TRAC. More than once, construction funding was denied. In 2020, Greene County once again submitted the project to TRAC for construction funding. Due to COVID-19, the funding round was eliminated.

By Darryl McGee

[email protected]

Reach Darryl McGee at 937-502-4534

Reach Darryl McGee at 937-502-4534