Despite budget hits, most local road construction funded through the year

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – While the state budget has taken a $775 million hit due to the COVID-19 outbreak, it hasn’t hampered most road construction projects in Montgomery County or the local Ohio Department of Transportation District.

Montgomery County Engineer Paul Gruner said the county is expecting a 30 to 35-percent decrease in gas tax revenues from the state for projects. But overall, gas tax funds only make up 20 percent of the county’s road construction budget. Most of the county’s construction budget comes from vehicle registration fees, unlike smaller counties and the state, which rely more on the gas tax.

“We’ve pushed two projects into next year,” Gruner told WDTN.com. “That could change by the end of the year.”

The county has continued construction of the Third Street bridge, the largest project by square-feet in county history, and also the most expensive at $17 million. Construction began in January and is expected to be finished in Fall 2021.

ODOT District Construction Engineer Josh Bowman said as of now, all the construction projects in District 7 (which makes up Montgomery, Miami, Mercer, Auglaize, Logan, Darke, Champaign and Clark counties) are fully funded through the end of the year, though that could change depending on the outbreak, the economy and state finances.

“The pandemic has hit everything across the world,” Bowman said. “We are analyzing and reviewing things as it changes.”

ODOT is continuing its partial reconstruction of two bridges on I-75 between Troy and Piqua. It also has a large number of repaving projects from north of Piqua to the Warren County line.

Construction continues on I-70 between US 68 and Ohio 72, adding third-lanes to both the eastbound and westbound sides. Bowman said eventually I-70 will have six lanes between Springfield and Columbus.

Major projects still in plans for 2021

Bowman said Montgomery County is planning bridge projects on Alex Bell Road near Mad River Road; replacing a bridge on Chicken Bristle Road in Jackson Twp., and another bridge project on Diamond Mill Road.

He said ODOT is working to replace the flyover bridge on US 35 to Smithville Road. The state plans to then add an extra lane both eastbound and westbound on 35 from Smithville to I-675 in Greene County.

The I-75 bridge over Edwin C. Moses Boulevard will be partially reconstructed next year, as well as a railroad bridge just north of there. Those projects are expected to be completed in 2023.

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