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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Rain showers start the week, possible snow flurries Tuesday 

Published: Sunday, January 21, 2018 @ 4:29 AM

Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
Getty Images
Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images(Getty Images)

>>WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

QUICK-LOOK FORECAST

  • A few showers expected today
  • More rain likely Monday
  • Colder with the chance for snow Tuesday

(Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar)

>> 4 tricks to help avoid illness during big temperature changes

TODAY: A few showers are expected throughout the day today. While it won’t be a wash-out, you’ll want to make sure you have an umbrella handy if you have plans to be out. Temperatures will be on the mild side in the mid to upper 40s. 

TONIGHT: A few light showers can’t be ruled overnight, but more dry time is expected. Lows will be in the lower 40s.

(Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar)

>> County-by-County Weather

MONDAY: More rain expected for the day, especially in the afternoon and early evening. Rain could be heavy at times with highs peaking in the lower to mid 50s. 

(Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar)

TUESDAY: Colder air returns with highs in the upper 30s early in the morning. Temperatures will likely fall through the entire day with a chance for snow showers or flurries. 

>> 5-Day Forecast

WEDNESDAY: Another cool day expected with partly cloudy skies and highs in the mid to upper 30s. 

THURSDAY: Partly sunny skies as temperatures peak in the upper 30s again.

Dayton traffic from the WHIO traffic center

Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 12:35 AM
Updated: Sunday, January 21, 2018 @ 4:51 AM

Staff photo
Staff photo

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

Traffic conditions are updated every six minutes on AM 1290 and News 95.7 FM.

Major Highway Incidents

  • On westbound I-70 near the 49 mile-marker in Clark County, reports of a three-vehicle injury accident with a vehicle on its top around 4:50 a.m.

Surface Street Incidents

  • No incidents to report. 

>> RELATED: WHIO App-Winter

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

>> RELATED: Track the latest conditions in your neighborhood on our live WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

Ongoing Construction & Other Closures 

Live look at highways on our traffic cameras here.

Latest traffic conditions are also available on our traffic map. 

MONTGOMERY COUNTY

  • Keowee Street north of Stanley Avenue, bridge closed until 2019. The official detour is: Keowee Street to Stanley Avenue to I-75 to Wagner Ford Road and back to Dixie. More information is available here.
  • Stewart Street Ramp to US 35 East, RAMP CLOSURE March 28 - Sept 30, 2018. The official detour is: Stewart Street to Edwin C. Moses Boulevard to I-75 north to US 35 west to James H. McGee Blvd. to US 35 east.
  • I-75 north Ramp to US 35 west and east, Lane width restriction until Apr. 1, 2018. One lane will remain open on the ramp with a width of 11 feet.
  • I-70 between Upper Lewisburg Salem Road and Brooksville-Phillipsburg Road, Lane closure Jan. 22 - 29. One lane will remain open in each direction at all times. Shoulder closures Jan. 22 - Sept. 30. Both the inside and outside shoulders of I-70 will be closed during construction. 

Light showers overnight; weekend ends on warmer note

Published: Saturday, January 20, 2018 @ 5:14 AM
Updated: Saturday, January 20, 2018 @ 11:20 PM

A mild evening is expected in the Dayton area, with rain returning Sunday & Monday.

A few light showers can be expected overnight, Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar said. “We’re not anticipating much rain to fall, but there will be a few showers from time to time,” he said. Overnight temperatures will drop into the middle to upper 30s.

QUICK-LOOK FORECAST

  • Warmer finish to weekend
  • Wet Sunday into Monday
  • Colder with snow possible Tuesday
5 Day Forecast with Meteorologist Brett Collar

>> WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

DETAILED FORECAST

Sunday: We’ll experience cloudy skies with a chance for drizzle and fog. A few light showers will be possible as temperatures climb into the mid 40s.

>> 4 tricks to help avoid illness during big temperature changes

5-Day Rain Chances(Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar)

>> 5-Day Forecast

Monday: More rain is expected, especially in the afternoon and early evening. Some of that rain could be heavy at times. Highs will be in the lower to middle 50s. 

Tuesday: Colder air returns. Highs likely will be in the upper 30s early in the morning, then temperatures will fall throughout the day. There is a chance for some snow whhowers or flurries. 

5-Day Temperature Trend(Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar)

Wednesday: It will be another cool day under partly cloudy skies. Highs will be in the middle to upper 30s. 

Outdoor Outlook(Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar)

Thursday: Temperatures will top out in the upper 30s under partly cloudy skies. 

Shutdown: Uncertainty plagues civil servants, WPAFB workers, businesses

Published: Saturday, January 20, 2018 @ 9:40 PM

Local businesses feeling pressure from government shutdown

Employees at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base will report to work on Monday for further instructions.

On Main Street in downtown Fairborn Saturday night there were a lot of questions about the partial shutdown, from workers who may be at risk of furlough to businesses those workers visit.

>> Air Force museum closes: Wright-Patt workers face furlough

“It’s definitely uncertainty,” Casey Hudson, a civil servant who works in finances with the Air National Guard in Springfield.

He’s headed to work this week with or without a budget approved by Congress, and possibly without getting paid on time.

“I still have to go to work,” Hudson said. “It’s not fun not getting a paycheck, so I’m just trying to make sure I’m on top of my finances.”

>> Wright Patt: Workers to show up Monday even if shutdown in place

Inside Giovanni’s pizzeria in downtown Fairborn, it was business as usual. But management is keeping an eye on what happens hundreds of miles away, in Washington, wondering how long this shutdown could last.

“If it’s a week we’ll probably lose, probably $5- to $7,000, just from sales, from people not coming,” General Manager Karl Henry said.

WPAFB active duty and civil servants make up 60 to 70 percent of the customers at Giovanni’s, Henry said. When they don’t get paid or are uncertain, they won’t spend money at the restaurant. That’s what happened in 2013 when the government briefly shut down.

“It came to a slow crawl. We’d only get a few couples in, we cut our staff real thin, it got real slow,” Henry said.

>> Government shutdown on anniversary of Trump inauguration

After the 2013 shutdown, workers who stayed on the job unpaid and those furloughed were reimbursed.

But businesses who rely on the base’s staff get no such compensation, and can only hold out for a quick end.

“Hopefully Congress will get together and this will all kind of go away and we’ll get this budget approved,” Henry said.

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