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

“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.


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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Springboro leaders drove 2.5 hours to meet with Austin South developer

Published: Wednesday, June 28, 2017 @ 6:34 AM

Springboro City Council met in March with developer Larry Dillin during an overnight trip to Perrysburg as part of nearly a year of work on Dillin’s proposed development of Austin Landing South.

RELATED: Shopping centers planned on both sides of Austin Boulevard

Preparations for the meeting, which was publicized as a special session, and other communications between city officials and Dillin, were included in emails provided to this newspaper in response to public records requests.

MORE: 5 facts about latest Austin Landing restaurant 

The council drove north nearly 2.5 hours to Dillin’s Levis Commons development in Perrysburg, on the recommendation of Springboro City Manager Christine Thompson, Dillin said in an email provided by Springboro officials.

Thompson was familiar with Levis Commons from personal visits and urged the council to make the road trip after discussions with him, Dillin said.

“To cement her point, Chris has scheduled her entire City Council and Planning Director to travel to Levis on March 2 for an unguided tour of the property, dinner at Biaggi’s and an overnight stay at the Hilton Garden Inn,” Dillin said in the email to members of a Perrysburg board that provided oversight on Dillin’s project there.

The newspaper made the records request after Springboro declined to provide information about the development following passage of an agreement with the Warren County Port Authority to help put together public subsidies for the project.

RELATED: Roads, financing for Austin Landing spreading south into Springboro

The emails indicate investment specialists working with Dillin began communicating with Thompson and other city officials last year before the Fourth of July holiday.

RELATED: Private investment to drive Austin development in Springboro

The communications continued at least into May, when Dillin told Thompson and Assistant City Manager Chris Pozzuto about a party featuring skydivers “on the current vacant field that will soon become Austin Landing South (or other more catchy name…) “

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On Monday, Thompson said she felt the trip to Perrysburg was necessary to help the council decide whether to work with Dillin on the development of land connected to one of the city’s industrial parks and comprising one of its last large of undeveloped tracts.

The land also was the source of litigation with the previous owner, settled with a consent decree limiting what could be built and preventing construction of a Walmart there.

RELATED: Court order dictates Austin Landing South development

“It’s got a high level of importance for Springboro,” Thompson said. “Imagine if we’d put a Walmart there.”

She said the city would provide more details on the development once a formal proposal was made by Dillin.

Dillin did not respond to a request for a response.

Dayton traffic from the WHIO Traffic Center

Published: Wednesday, June 28, 2017 @ 5:10 AM
Updated: Wednesday, June 28, 2017 @ 9:16 AM

Check this page for a full list of crashes, disabled vehicles, construction projects and other hazards impacting your commute.

Traffic issues can be reported by calling our newsroom at 937-259-2237 or tweeting @WHIOTraffic .

Sgt. Mark Bowron is updating conditions every six minutes on AM 1290 and News 95.7 FM.

RELATED: Find the lowest gas prices in your neighborhood with our Pump Patrol

Major Highway Incidents

  • No incidents have been reported.

RELATED: Check for delays or cancellations before heading to the airport

Surface Street Incidents

Ongoing Construction & Other Closures 

Get a live look at highways on our traffic cameras here.

Latest traffic conditions are also available on our traffic map. 


  • Brent Spence Bridge will have two lane closures and certain entrance/exit ramps will be closed for 60 days starting June 26.


  • Old Dayton Road between Diamond Mill Road and Lutheran Church Road in Trotwood will be closed for road repair from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on June 27. Local traffic will be maintained. All other traffic will be re-routed. 
  • I-75 south ramp to US 35 west will be closed from January 9th to September 30th to replace a bridge deck beam that was not included in the I-75 modernization project. The official detour is: I-75 south to the Edwin C. Moses turn around lane to I-75 north to US 35 west.
  • I-75 north ramp the US 35 east will be closed March 28th to September 23rd. ODOT lists the suggested detour as NB I-75 to US 35 west, to James H McGee Blvd, to US 35 east. 
  • I-70 between Airport Access Road and Taywood Road, Lane closures April 3rd - June 30th. Two lanes will remain open.
  • I-70 between Preble County Line Road and South Kimmel Road, overnight lane closures June 12th – August 31st between 6 pm and 7 am. One lane will remain open in each direction.
  • SR 741 at Austin Boulevard, Intermittent lane closures and construction work May 22nd – August 25th.  
  • SR 49 between SR 721 and US 40, lane closures June 12th – July 31st between 7 am and 7 pm. One lane will remain open in each direction.
  • SR 202 between Troy Villa Boulevard and Chesam Drive, Traffic pattern shift May 15th – July 21st. All southbound traffic will be shifted to the northbound side of SR 202. There will be one southbound lane and one northbound lane operating on the northbound side of SR 202.
  • Shroyer Road between Gainsborough Road and East Dorothy Lane will be repaved and reconfigured from June 9 through at least October. Once the project is completed, Shroyer Road will be reduced to three lanes. 
  • Ludlow Street Ramp to westbound US 35 in Dayton, ramp closure May 12th – August 9th. The suggested ODOT detour is: Washington Street to US 35 west.
  • Hoover Avenue between Gettysburg Avenue and Elmhurst Road in Dayton will be closed starting April 3 until early June for water line construction. The construction will also impact the intersection of Hoover and Gettysburg avenues and drivers should expect congestion and delays. Detours will be posted. 
  • Bridgewater Road between Taylorsville Road and US 40, bridge closure May 15th – September 12th. The official detour is: Bridgewater Road to Taylorsville Road to Rip Rap Road to Little York Road to Brown School Road to US 40
  • The Webster Street bridge is closed as it is rebuilt. A detour will take drivers to Keowee Street to Monument Avenue. The project is scheduled to be completed in November of 2017 


  • Piqua-Troy Road between Statler Road and Eldean Roadbridge closure April 12th – October 12th. The official ODOT detour is: Piqua-Troy Road to West Peterson Road to CR 25A to Eldean Road to Piqua-Troy Road.



  • I-70 east Ramp to I-675 north, ramp closure April 19th – October 31st. The official detour is: I-675 to SR 444 to I-675 north.
  • SR 4 Ramp to Enon Road, ramp closure June 13th – 25th The suggested detour from ODOT is: SR 4 to SR 369 to SR 4 to Enon Road.
  • SR 4 between I-70 and Enon Road, lane closures June 13th – 25th. One lane will remain open in each direction.
  • Enon Road Ramp to SR 4, ramp closure June 13th – 25th. The suggested detour from ODOT is: SR 4 to SR 369 to SR 4 south
  • SR 565 between SR 29 and Houston Pike, Daily lane closures May 22nd through September 30th between 7 am and 5 pm. One lane will remain open in each direction.


  • US 36 between US 127 and SR 48, Lane closures April 24th – June 30th. One lane will remain open in each direction.
  • SR 121 between Arnold Street and Fairview Avenue, Daily lane closures April 24th – September 1st between 7 am and 5 pm. One lane will remain open in each direction.
  • US 127 between US 36 and Kruckeberg Road, Daily lane closures June 12th – August 25th between 7 am and 5 pm. One lane will remain open in each direction.
  • SR 118 between SR 47 and the Mercer/Darke County line, lane closures June 16th – July 14th between 6 am and 6 pm. One lane will remain open in each direction.
  • SR 726 between Preble County Butler Township Road and East Washington Street, lane closures June 15th – July 21st between 6 am and 6 pm. One lane will remain open in each direction.


  • US 36 between Berwick Drive and Dugan Road, road closure April 10th – July 10th. The suggested ODOT detour is: SR 814 to SR 296 to US 68.
  • US 36 between SR 814 and McMahill Road, lane closures May 22nd through September 30th between 7 am and 5 pm. One lane will remain open in each direction..
  • US 36 between Bollinger Road and Edgewood Avenue, lane closures June 12th – August 31st between  7 am and 5 pm. One lane will remain open in each direction.
  • SR 54 between SR 4 and Brigner Road, lane closures May 22nd through September 30th between 7 am and 5 pm. One lane will remain open in each direction.
  • SR 55 between Elm Tree Road and Edgewood Avenue, lane closures May 22nd through September 30th between 7 am and 5 pm. One lane will remain open in each direction.
  • SR 296 between SR 29 and SR 814, lane closures May 22nd – September 30th between 7 am and 5 pm. One lane will remain open for travel in each direction through the use of flaggers.


  • Amsterdam Road between CR 25A (Sidney) and Heiland Kies Road, road closure May 15th– August 15th. The official detour from ODOT is: Amsterdam Road to CR 25A to SR 274 to Heiland Kies Road to Amsterdam Road


  • I-71 south between Wilmington Road and State Route 123 will have various nightly closures from 7:30 p.m. June 26 until 6 a.m. the following day. These lane closures will be in place nightly through July 1.

DPS hires new Dunbar football coach; He says no district official told him

Published: Tuesday, June 27, 2017 @ 6:39 PM
Updated: Tuesday, June 27, 2017 @ 9:47 PM

UPDATE @ 9:20 p.m.:   Dayton’s school board hired a new Dunbar High School head football coach at its Saturday retreat, but that coach, James Lacking, said Tuesday night that no one from the school district informed him he had been hired, more than 72 hours after the retreat.

Tuesday was a bizarre night, as dozens of Dunbar supporters came to a Dayton Public Schools board meeting to support recently rejected football coach Darran Powell.

» State implicates Dayton AD Baker in Dunbar football fiasco
» Watch: Video emerges of controversial Dunbar-Belmont football game with plays even odder than described
» ADs, principal, coach missed Dunbar eligibility issue
» Dayton Schools react after reprimand from state, $10K fine

Parents, players and coaches (including Powell and Lacking) crowded into a tiny sixth floor conference room with the school board. Many of them were among the 1,500-plus who signed an online petition, asking for the board to re-hire Powell.

School board members thanked the group for their interest, and encouraged them to get their issue added to the agenda for the July 11 school board meeting. But neither the board members nor Superintendent Rhonda Corr mentioned that they had already hired a coach – a fact most in the room seemed unaware of.

The online school board agenda for Saturday, June 24, actually lists a James Jacking up for consideration for the Dunbar post. Asked whether that was a typo -- since James Lacking is a current Dunbar assistant and former head coach -- school board member Joe Lacey indicated that, yes, Lacking was the hire. 

School board office manager Cherisse Kidd confirmed that all of Saturday’s personnel items had been approved.

Tuesday, Lacking said he had not received notification.

Late Tuesday night, DPS issued a notification that there will be another school board meeting at 4:30 p.m. Friday. The notice says only that the board will “vote on recommendations from the superintendent and/or treasurer.”

The only order of business for Tuesday night's meeting was a closed executive session to discuss the employment of unnamed school personnel. The school board did not vote on any hires.

The Dunbar supporters were there for the start of the meeting, but were not asked to explain their position.

Powell's contract as head coach was not renewed for the 2017 season at a school board meeting last week. 

“It’s overwhelming,” Powell said of Tuesday's turnout. “I definitely appreciate all the love and support that we’ve gotten over the past week. It just shows that we’re truly family. Dunbar is deeper than just sports. They have my back and I love them for that.”

Powell said Dunbar’s coaches from last season still have been “conducting business day to day” with the team during summer activities. Many of those coaches were there Tuesday, including Lacking, who coached Dunbar’s offensive and defensive lines.

“We’re not going to leave the kids high and dry,” Powell said. “We’re still going to continue to do it unless they bring me back or bring somebody else in.”

Dunbar had to forfeit the final two games of its 2016 season for using an ineligible star player. Investigations by both the school district and the Ohio High School Athletic Association revealed that coaches and athletic directors did not fully understand the eligibility system.

During the final game against Belmont, once the ineligibility issue was understood, Dunbar called timeout, had an emotional sideline team discussion, then ran a few plays intentionally trying to lose the game.

Dunbar’s coaches said that directive came from districtwide athletic director Mark Baker, who has denied it multiple times, but has declined to speak to the media in recent months. The school board recently gave Baker a two-year contract extension before declining to retain Powell.

OHSAA officials placed all DPS high school athletic programs on three years of probation, and pointed the finger at Baker, saying the instruction to lose the game came from him.

Nicole Robinson, whose son plays for Dunbar, said parents came out Tuesday to support the coaches and players, “to move forward in a positive manner for the upcoming football season.”

“We’ve had some ups and downs, but in terms of making sure the students had tutors and things in place to make sure they were eligible to be on the field, we’ve always come together collectively as a group to support our players and our coaches,” Robinson said.

Joseph Scates, a star wide receiver for Dunbar who has drawn interest from some of the top programs in the nation, said summer on-field work for Dunbar football “has been going great.”

“The coaching staff and coaching jobs are still kinda complicated, and that’s why we’re here today now to get things straightened out,” Scates said. “Darran is more than just a coach to us. It’s more to it than just football. He actually loves us, and has been building us and wants us to grow up and be successful young men. … We’re going the extra mile for him because he goes the extra mile for us.”


Dozens of Dunbar High School supporters came to Tuesday night's Dayton school board meeting in support of football coach Darran Powell whose future as coach is in limbo. 

The only order of business for Tuesday's meeting was a closed, executive session to discuss the hiring of unnamed school personnel. 

But the Dunbar crowd, including players, parents, Powell and several assistant coaches, crowded into a tiny sixth floor conference room to make their presence felt as the meeting began. 

School board members thanked the group for their interest, and encouraged them to get their issue added to the agenda for the July 11 school board meeting. 

The board then went into executive session which was ongoing as of 6:15 PM. 

Powell's contract as head coach was not renewed for the 2017 season at a school board meeting last week. The board has assigned a temporary head coach but both Powell and players said last year's coaches continue to work with the team.

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Crash knocks down power lines, causes outages

Published: Wednesday, June 28, 2017 @ 8:40 AM

The intersection of Philadelphia and Princeton drives in Dayton is expected to be shut down through the morning after a crash damaged a DP&L pole and knocked down power lines Wednesday morning. 

>> Read the latest local stories in the Miami Valley 

Dayton police said they were first notified of a reported explosion in the area around 6 a.m. but found nothing. A second report came in around 8 a.m. of a crash that knocked down wires. 

Police said the vehicle that caused the crash was not on scene. 

DP&L representatives said the crash did extensive damage to the pole in the area and knocked down several power lines in the area. DP&L said the repairs will require a lot of work and there is no estimated time on when the repairs will be completed. 

According to a DP&L outage map, 260 customers are without power in Montgomery County due to the crash.

We have a crew on the way and we’ll update this page as new details become available. 

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