ODOT secures funding for Route 35 project

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BEAVERCREEK, Ohio (WDTN) – The Ohio Department of Transportation has secured full funding needed to begin an improvement project along U.S. Route 35.

According to officials with ODOT, the goal is to make the intersections at Factory Road and Orchard Lane safer and improve traffic flow.

“It’s a little congested in the morning and in the evening,” said Chase Fast, who commutes to work on the highway.

Some drivers we spoke with said they’re used to seeing heavy volume and crashes in the area. According to the Ohio Department of Transportation, the section of Route 35 near Factory Road and Orchard Lane has seen a 19 percent increase in crashes over a five-year period.

“My window faces 35 right here, and it’s kind of crazy – I’ve seen a lot of overturns on vehicles,” said William Chinn. “I’ve seen a crash right in front of the gas station.”

Chinn works for one of the car dealerships along Route 35.

“When I have customers out on test drive routes, [we] definitely have to be a little bit patient with the traffic flow going this way and that way,” he said. “But the traffic is very, very busy and hectic.”

He said that’s why he’s looking forward to an improvement project that has now received full funding from the state.

According to officials with the Ohio Department of Transportation, crews will replace the traditional intersections at Factory Road and Orchard Lane with what’s known as “superstreets.” Drivers on those side streets would not be able to turn left onto Route 35 or go straight across the intersection, according to ODOT. They would turn right and then turn around in a new U-turn lane if needed.

“It’s going to uncongest a lot of the lanes where a lot of people don’t really pay attention to where they’re driving, like as far as left lane, right lane,” said Christopher Smith, who works along Route 35.

“Commuting in and out during the construction might be a problem, but ultimately it’ll be something we’ll have to get over and it’ll all be better when it’s done with,” said Brandon Weaver, who also works at a business along the highway.

Construction between Factory Road and Orchard Lane is expected to begin in the spring of 2019 and take about a year, according to ODOT.

Also on Route 35, at the Trebein Road and Valley Road intersection, ODOT has secured funding to start designing a new interchange, which would likely eliminate the traffic light and add new on- and off-ramps, according to a spokesperson. That project isn’t expected to get started until 2021.

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