- Lawrence Budd Staff Writer
A Troy contractor is expected to begin reconstruction of Springboro’s central crossroads next month, as city leaders search for a developer to return the northwest corner to its prominent place in the community.
On May 19, the Warren County Transportation Improvement District board approved a contract for slightly more than $3 million with Milcon Concrete of Troy to widen and improve the intersection of Ohio 741 and Ohio 73, Central Avenue and Main Street in Springboro.
The City of Springboro said more than $3.3 million in improvements would be made at the intersection. That reflects $288,237 for an alternate bid for upgraded pipe, lighting and other materials not approved by the county transportation board, according to transportation board records.
New to the county transportation board, Milcon has done large projects in Xenia, Dayton, Miamisburg and at the Dayton International Airport.
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“It’s a nice-sized project for us and it’s the type of project we’re comfortable doing,” said Mark Miller, Milcon’s president. “I’m pretty sure we’ll be starting sometime in June.”
Meanwhile, Springboro officials are meeting with developers about redevelopment of the corner where Homer’s IGA and the adjoining strip center once served as a gathering place, before development of Austin Landing, Settlers Walk or much of what now comprises Springboro.
“We’ve had some informal proposals,” Mayor John Agenbroad said. “Nothing concrete. It will be a nice project when it’s finished.”
It was unclear if or when redevelopment would extend beyond this corner. So far still standing are several commercial buildings and a small strip center west of the area razed in anticipation of redevelopment on the northwest corner.
Last week, the Springboro Flea Market, the last tenant of the old shopping center that anchored the northwest corner of Ohio 73 and Ohio 741 was moving out the last of its inventory.
“We have moved,” a sign in the window said. “New location: 315 Conover Dr., Franklin.”
The rest of the buildings at the site have already been razed.
The intersection construction bid was the lowest of five submitted for the project. The most expensive, from Kelchner, a local contractor, bid almost $4.1 million, according to transportation board records.
In coming weeks, Milcon is expected to huddle with Warren County engineers to nail down details of a contract for the intersection improvements, at the center of the ongoing transformation of Springboro’s central crossroads, expected to cost $15 million or more.
“We’re looking forward to getting started on the project and getting the project completed and improve the traffic conditions there,” Miller said.
The intersection was once to be reconstructed as three-quarters of a roundabout, but city officials steered back toward a traditional intersection.
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When the dust clears, there should be two turn lanes heading north from eastbound Ohio 73 and two turn lanes heading west from southbound Ohio 741, along with an overall widening and landscaping of the intersection.
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In addition, Milcon is to construct a raised median along the length of the left turn lanes to provide access control through the intersection.
City officials are also excited about the addition of a turn- signal for southbound Ohio 741 motorists heading east onto Ohio 73.
“There is a blind spot when traffic’s backed up there,” Agenbroad said.
The project is to be completed by late summer or early fall 2018, according to Warren County Engineer Neil Tunison, who is managing the project for the city through the county transportation board.
During construction, motorists relying on the intersection may not need to chart alternate routes. Plans call for three shifts of the traffic pattern to accommodate construction.
“We’ll be maintaining traffic throughout,” Tunison said. “If there are any closures, it will be very temporary.”
Tunison said transportation district lawyers were still negotiating with Speedway over what the company was due for the taking of the company’s station on the southwest corner.
“Hopefully we can get things settled with them,” Tunison said.
The former sites of two gas stations have been cleared. It was also unclear what would be done about underground tanks on the Speedway property, Tunison said.
Springboro is footing most of the bill, although $200,000 in state funds will help reduce the city’s end, he said.
At this point, Tunison said the project, estimated at about $10 million, was about $1.8 million under budget.
“The project’s not over yet,” he said.