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Section of Ohio 725 near mall targeted for change

Improving pedestrian and cycling access will be the focus of a study centering on a busy section of Ohio 725 that runs under an interstate and links Miamisburg, Miami Twp., and the Dayton Mall.

Ohio 725 between Byers Road and Ohio 741 is one of the busiest parts of the state route for vehicle traffic. But that corridor, which includes Interstate 75’s Exit 44, the city and the township, is not accommodating to non-motorized transportation.

Upgrading access on the east-west strip of Ohio 725 is seen as a key step in implementing the mall area’s master plan, a document supported by both jurisdictions. It outlines the potential for about $200 million in redevelopment over several years.

“The desire to improve that connection is what we’ve heard,” said Dan Hoying, an LJB principal and project manager of the feasibility study.

“There’s benefits, obviously, to the city and to the township to do that,” he added. “What this study will look at are what are the alternatives to do that, and how feasible are they from a cost and impact standpoint.”

Hoying said his firm is in the initial stages of the study, which is being overseen by the Montgomery County Transportation Improvement District. The Ohio Department of Transportation is expected to offer input.

More than 84,000 vehicles on I-75 use or cross the Ohio 725 interchange daily while nearly 30,500 go under the interstate traveling on the state route, according to ODOT’s website.

Yet the area is virtually void of sidewalks and lacks designated lanes or paths for cyclists, an increasingly common feature near newer development projects along Byers in Miamisburg and Ohio 741 in the township.

The study will examine issues such as pavement and lane widths, rights of way, property lines and slopes near the I-75 overpass, Hoying said.

“A big part of our scope of work is actually locating just exactly where the property lines are,” he said. “And, as it relates to the roadway, how much space is there?

“And once you’ve identified how much width is there, then you can look at what kind of sidewalk or bike path … options are available.”

LJB is working with the county and was hired to oversee the project by the Miami Twp.-Dayton Mall Joint Economic Development District Board of Directors. That is a board of city and township officials that adopted the mall area plan last year.

The JEDD board expects to receive some preliminary information on the study later this year, but a “full analysis” may not be completed until 2017, said board member Chris Snyder, the township’s community development director.

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