BATH TOWNSHIP — Motorists traveling both directions on State Route 4 near the Bath Road intersection in Bath Township can expect traffic delays from road construction at the intersection that will result in lane closures as soon as next month.
According to township officials, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) construction project will begin the second week in March. The two-and-a-half-month project will cost $1.6 million, which will be financed with Federal Highway Safety Improvement Program funds, Federal National Highway Performance Program funds and state construction funds.
The project will consist of the replacement of two parallel culverts that are 192 feet long and located under SR 4, as well as the addition of a 125-foot, right-turn lane with a 50-foot taper on Bath Road to southbound SR 4. Construction will also include the modification of the left-turn lane from northbound SR 4 to Bath Road so it will be located approximately 30 feet closer to Bath Road.
“State officials are projecting that the project will take about 75 days from start to finish, and they said that they may finish sooner,” Township Road Supervisor Vern Heizer stated during the Feb. 7 township meeting.
Heizer explained that the construction project would be completed in two phases in order to maintain one lane of traffic at all times in each direction on SR 4. During phase 1, the contractor will be removing debris and trees on the south side of Bath Road, and motorists traveling on Bath Road will only be allowed to make a right turn onto SR 4. Access to Bath Road will only be available from the southbound lane on SR 4 as well.
“Following the removal of the debris and trees, the contractor will then cut all the individual lanes in the center of the median on Route 4,” Heizer explained. “This will reduce some traffic to one lane.”
Phase 2 of the project will consist of construction work at the SR 4 and Bath Road intersection. During this phase, Bath Road will be closed to traffic, which will be detoured over Adams Road and other nearby roads. Heizer noted that ODOT would be posting detours signs on Bath and Kitridge Roads and SR 4 two weeks prior to construction.
According to ODOT statistics, six of the 14 crashes at the intersection from 2012 through 2015 can be attributed to the left turn movement from northbound SR 4 to Bath Road. The addition of an offset left turn lane will improve safety by moving vehicles, which are turning left, away from adjacent, same-direction through lanes and will provide better visibility of oncoming traffic for motorists making the turn.
Township Fiscal Officer Elaine Brown noted that ODOT awarded the project last November to Complete General Construction Company, which is located in Columbus.
Road construction this spring on SR 235 will also bring about the closure of a portion of the highway for four-to-six months, according to Township Trustee Tom Pitstick. Pitstick reported during the Jan. 31 township meeting that he had met with Fairborn Cement Company Quality Control Manager Rusty Strader regarding the construction of a bridge on SR 235 between West Hyde and West Enon Roads.
“They are going to build the bridge at Rocky Hollow in that dip just over the Bath Township line and into Xenia Township,” Pitstick said. “This will completely close down SR 235, and traffic will be detoured over West Hyde and West Enon Roads and back to Route 235.”
Pitstick explained that the Fairborn Cement Company, which is located at 3250 Linebaugh Rd., would be footing the expense of the project. Plans call for the construction of a bridge on SR 235 that will run above a private road, which the company will construct and use to transport heavy materials from one side of the highway to another.
Although he did not mention the cost of the project, Pitstick did note that Greene County Engineer Robert Geyer had approved the project. He also stated that the cement company would be inspecting West Hyde and West Enon Roads prior to the SR 235 closure. Therefore, if any damage occurs to either road during the construction process, Pitstick said, the company would foot the bill.
“I don’t know if the public is aware of this impending construction on Route 235, but it is definite. It will happen,” said Pitstick.
Linda Collins is a freelance writer for Greene County News.