DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – What was once known as “Malfunction Junction” is now wide open for drivers. The decade long I-75 Modernization Project in downtown Dayton is officially complete!
10 years, four and a half miles and one major headache for drivers is no more. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Thursday morning to celebrate the construction project ending a year early and $1 million under budget.
“It’s hard, a lot of it is hard. It’s grueling and there’s certainly a lot of risk out there, but I hopefully it’s worth it to them,” Kokosing Construction Company, Area Manager for the project Tom Graf said.
The area manager, for the third and final phase of the project, said he along with the rest of his crew put in a lot of hard work, including a few hot summers and cold winters to get the job done early.
“It takes two things really. It takes a lot of good hard working people that can get stuff built efficiently the first time and it also takes a lot of other people around us specifically with again ODOT, Dayton, Montgomery County to make it all go,” Graf said.
According to ODOT District 7 Deputy Director Randy Chevalley, there’s been a significant decrease in car accidents thanks to the $306 million dollar modernization project.
“It’s really address safety issues but it also came at a time when the existing infrastructure was in very dire need for repair,” Chevalley said.
With approximately 115,000 vehicles on the road daily, those involved in the project believe by adding three continuous lanes, as well as new ramps in and out of the Dayton area, the ride is a lot smoother, less congested and a major economic driver for the region.
“This project now gives confidence to those employers that they can distribute their goods, that their trucks can be on the road and be traveling hassle free right through Dayton, so it’s extremely important. And now that it’s here we couldn’t be more excited,” Vice President, Public Policy and Economic Development for the Greater Dayton Chamber of Commerce Chris Kershner said.
Crews will continue to work on the I-75 Northbound to US-35 Westbound ramp, but by finishing the main sector of the highway a year ahead of schedule, the contracting company will receive a $3 million dollars in incentives.