Decade-long I-75 modernization ends early, nearly $1M under budget

Published: Thursday, September 22, 2016 @ 5:09 AM
Updated: Thursday, September 22, 2016 @ 9:04 PM

Drone's view of completed I-75 project

“Malfunction junction” was declared dead Thursday at a celebratory completion of the I-75 Modernization Project, which state transportation officials say ended one year early and nearly $1 million under budget.

Officials hope the completion of the $306 million, four-and-a-half mile road project will improve safety and ease decades of frustration with the heavily-traveled downtown stretch that an estimated 128,000 cars and trucks travel each day.

Rob Griffith, Federal Highway Administration assistant division administrator, said the four-mile stretch of highway replaced in the modernization project formerly saw an average of 325 accidents per year.

“Right now, we’ve just finished this project and we’re seeing roughly 225 crashes per year, so we’ve seen a decrease already of 100 crashes per year,” Griffith said.

The project relied on the use of monetary incentives to encourage the contractors to complete the work ahead of schedule. An ODOT spokeswoman could not immediately confirm whether Kokosing Construction received a $3 million bonus for the completion, but officials indicated the incentives were a major part of getting the construction work done ahead of schedule.

“Waving extra dollars at contractors, I think they sharpen their pencils, they get their A-team on board and they march ahead and get it done,” said Randy Chevalley, ODOT District 7 deputy director. “They’ve got that next project they want to do. They’re in business to make money.”

Leaders from the Ohio Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission and other local agencies and governments were on hand for the ceremony Thursday morning, which included a ribbon cutting.

The project was built in three segments:

  • Phase 1A began in October 2007 and saw the reconstruction of the I-75 and state Route 4 interchange, including the elimination of a sharp curve and left lane ramps. The Main Street exit was upgraded and three continuous lanes were built from Main Street to Stanley Avenue. Kokosing Construction completed the project in fall 2011 at a cost of $122 million.
  • Phase 1B broke ground in March 2010 and built a three-lane stretch from Edwin C. Moses Boulevard to Fifth Street and rebuilt portions of the existing U.S. Route 35 interchange ramps. The Ruhlin Company completed the project in fall 2013 at a cost of $58 million.
  • Phase 2, the final segment of the project, kicked off in spring 2013 to connect Phases 1A and 1B by constructing three continuous lanes between the complete phases. The project included the reconstruction of 12 bridges and eliminated left lane entrances and exits. The project was completed by Kokosing Construction at a cost of $126 million.

Chevalley noted construction will continue in the area around the completed I-75 stretch. That work includes the continuation of construction on the U.S. 35 portions of the interchange with I-75, technically a separate project, and the eventual replacement of the I-75 bridges near Edwin C. Moses Boulevard and Wagoner Ford Road.

But for the project at hand, ODOT officials focused on celebrating the accomplishment alongside several dozen construction workers. Randy Winals, a labor foreman with Kokosing Construction, said he was proud to know his work is “going to be here for a long time.”

“All of us guys working together, we talk about that kind of thing — ‘What’s this going to look like for everyone?’” said Winals, dressed in a hard hat and reflective gear. “I’m very proud of it and everyone who works on it should be proud of it.”

News Center 7’s Mike Campbell contributed reporting.

FIRST REPORT

The decade-long modernization project of Interstate 75 through downtown Dayton will officially come to an end Thursday.

ODOT said the project was an investment of over $300 million, and was constructed an entire year ahead of schedule and below budget.

“The newly constructed interstate creates a smoother, less congested commute for motorists, as well as new ramps in and out of the Dayton area,” ODOT District 7 Public Information Officer Mandi Dillon said in a release issued earlier this week.

ODOT will hold a project completion ceremony Thursday at 10:30 a.m. on Second Street in downtown Dayton.

EARLIER: I-75 construction project in Dayton to be finished this year

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U.S. 42 reopens following double-fatal motorcycle crash in Greene Co.

Published: Sunday, October 22, 2017 @ 7:15 PM
Updated: Sunday, October 22, 2017 @ 11:47 PM

FROM THE SCENE: Spring Valley fatal crash

UPDATE @ 11:51 p.m.

Our crew at the scene reports U.S. 42 has reopened at Spring Valley Paintersville Road following a double-fatal motorcycle crash.

We are working to learn the identities of the victims and the cause of the crash.

UPDATE @ 10:05 p.m.

A man and woman from Xenia were killed after the motorcycle they were riding collided with a Dodge Charger in Spring Valley Sunday night, according to troopers.

U.S. 42 remains closed as crash investigators work to learn the cause of the crash and the party responsible, our crew reports.

Troopers said the victims on the motorcycle, both in their mid-20s, were wearing helmets at the time of the crash a third victim in the Dodge is recovering from non-life-threatening injuries.

A third female victim in the Dodge was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

>>Man in critical condition after motorcycle crash in Greene Co.

A preliminary investigation reveals the motorcyclist was northbound on U.S. 42 when the driver of the car attempted to turn onto the highway from Spring Valley Paintersville Road.

Troopers said at this time speed and failure to yield are being considered causes, but a definitive answer will not be available until investigators are finished.

A crashed motorcycle at the scene of a fatal crash on U.S. 42 and Spring Valley Paintersville Road in Spring Valley Sunday night. DeAngelo Byrd/Staff

UPDATE @ 9:13 p.m.

Two people are dead after the motorcycle they were riding crashed on U.S. 42 in Greene County, according to troopers at the scene. 

Our crew is told both victims were wearing helmets at the time of the crash. 

>>CareFlight called to Greene Co. motorcycle crash

A woman riding in a black Dodge Charger involved in the crash was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. 

U.S. 42 is closed at its intersection with Spring Valley Paintersville Road as an investigation continues

Our crew remains at the scene and is working to learn what caused the crash.

UPDATE @ 7:58 p.m.

At least one person is dead following a motorcycle crash in Spring Valley Sunday night, according to our crew at the scene. 

A motorcycle and black car can be seen near the intersection of U.S. 42 and Spring Valley Paintersville Road. 

Initial reports indicate a call to CareFlight was cancelled after crews arrived at the scene. 

U.S. 42 has been closed at its intersection with Spring Valley Paintersville Road as troopers investigate.

We are working to confirm multiple details with deputies in this developing story.

EARLIER REPORT

CareFlight has been requested to the scene of a motorcycle crash in Greene County. 

Crews were dispatched on a report of a crash involving a car and motorcycle just after 7 p.m. at the intersection of U.S. 42 and Spring Valley Paintersville Road. 

Initial reports indicate a motorcyclist on scene has been seriously injured. 

We have a crew heading to the scene as we work to learn more.

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Family celebrates birthday of Miamisburg teen killed in wrong-way crash

Published: Sunday, October 22, 2017 @ 8:54 PM

Family celebrates birthday of teen killed in wrong-way crash

Family members gathered for a birthday celebration Sunday to honor Kalip Grimm, the 2017 Miamisburg High School graduate killed in a wrong way crash Monday night on I-675 in Centerville. 

Grimm would have been 19 today.

"It’s the worst feeling to know you're celebrating your son's birthday one day and burying him the next,” Grimm’s mother, Stacey Grimm said.

Grimm was killed when the car he was driving was hit head-on by a wrong-way driver. Family and friends will gather tomorrow for funeral and memorial services.

A memorial pamphlet honoring Kalip Grimm, a Miaimisburg teen killed in a wrong-way crash on I-675 Monday.

"He was the most compassionate person. It didn't matter time of day, if anybody needed anything he'd be right there,” Stacey Grimm said.

News Center 7’s Sean Cudahy reports hundreds of people visited the family today with some offering kind words and others sporting new tattoos honoring Kalip.

"I'm at so much peace right now to know how many people's lives he touches,” Stacey Grimm said.

'"I've had several people tell me that when 'I was going through a hard spot Caleb brought me out of it.”

Friends of Kalip Grimm show off new tattoos remembering the Miaimisburg graduate killed in a wrong-way crash Monday. Sean Cudahy/Staff

Family and friends released balloons in the air Sunday after singing ‘Happy Birthday’ in linked arms.

“We had no idea how he touched people outside of our family,” Kalip’s step mother, LeAnn Crone.

Crone said she remembers Kalip as the person who pulled his family together.

“Anybody that knew him...knew kalip...biggest heart ever...he'd give you the shirt off his back,” Crone said.

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Pilot uninjured after plane flips on Greene Co. airport runway

Published: Sunday, October 22, 2017 @ 4:22 PM
Updated: Sunday, October 22, 2017 @ 5:57 PM

Plane crashes attempting to land

UPDATE @ 6:15 p.m.

High winds played a role in the crash of a single-engine plane at Greene County's Lewis A. Jackson Regional Airport Sunday, according to troopers. 

The plane's pilot was landing on the runway when wind gusts sent the two-seater aircraft onto its top. 

Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar reports wind gusts in the area of the airport registered as high as 22 mph earlier today. 

Graphic by Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar

Troopers told our crew the pilot was flying in from an airport near Bradford before crashing. 

The airport will reopen once crews clear the scene and remove the now upright plane from the runway.

UPDATE @ 5:52 p.m.

A pilot is uninjured after the plane he was landing crashed at a Greene County airport Sunday evening. 

Our crew at the scene reports the airport is closed while state troopers conduct an investigation and remove the plane from the runway. 

It is unknown what caused the crash first reported around 4 p.m. 

FROM THE SCENE: Small plane crashes in Greene Co.

>> Greene County fatal plane crash report released

Pilots taking off from the airport earlier today have been instructed to land at Wright Brothers in Miami Twp. 

Our crew reports the small red plane was on its top when authorities arrived. 

We are working to learn what caused the crash and how long the airport will remain closed.

EARLIER REPORT

No one is injured following a reported plane crash at Greene County's Lewis A. Jackson Airport Sunday evening, according to Ohio State Highway Patrol dispatchers. 

Crews were sent to the reported crash on the runway around 4:05 p.m. 

>>Small plane crashes at takeoff at Greene County airport

Dispatchers said no injuries are reported and the plane is reportedly crashed on the airport runway. 

Troopers and Beavercreek fire crews are heading to the scene to assess the damage. 

We have a crew heading to the scene to learn more on this developing report.

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Cars stripped of tires, windows smashed at Dayton car dealership

Published: Sunday, October 22, 2017 @ 7:21 PM

Vandalism at White Allen

Dayton police are investigating after thieves reportedly stole the tires from three cars in the White Allen parking lot. 

Police were dispatched to the dealership in the 600 block of North Main Street around 1:40 p.m. on a report of three damaged cars, according to dispatchers. 

A car sits on concrete blocks at White Allen Chevrolet in Dayton after tires were reported stolen from three cars at the dealership Sunday morning. DeAngelo Byrd/Staff

Officers arrived to find three vehicles on concrete blocks with missing wheels and busted windows. 

A store representative could not be reached for comment as Dayton police investigate.

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