Bengals to practice in West Carrollton tonight

Those who drive to the Cincinnati Bengals practice this afternoon at West Carrollton High School are being urged to use one of two routes – and arrive early.

Motorists should use either Ohio 741 to West Alex Bell Road or Interstate 75’s Exit 47 to East Central Avenue to West Alex Bell as a route to Dayton Outpatient Center Field, according to the West Carrollton Police Department, which will be directing traffic.

The free practice, expected to draw about 5,000 people, is set to begin at 5 p.m., coinciding with rush-hour traffic along the interstate. That’s one of the reasons motorists should not use I-75’s Exit 44 at Ohio 725, an area which gets congested with its proximity to the Dayton Mall, said Erika Mattingly, spokeswoman for the city.

Arriving an hour before the start of the practice should help drivers avoid traffic congestion, said Sgt. Mark Bowron, WHIO traffic reporter.

Gates are set to open at 4 p.m. and designated parking, which costs $5, will be at the high school and at Schnell Elementary, both on Student Street, said West Carrollton Superintendent Rusty Clifford.

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While volume increases on I-75 later in the afternoon, authorities are more concerned with traffic once it exists the highway, said West Carrollton Sgt. Doug Wessley.

Exit 47 and Ohio 741 are “going to be the main choices,” he said. “They get lost if they go through the neighborhoods.”

Authorities plan temporary road closings to accommodate the Bengals team buses when they arrive, but no streets are planned to be blocked for a prolonged period, Wessley said.

The flow and volume will dictate how traffic will be directed, he said.

“If the situation dictates a change, we’ll plan accordingly to do that,” Wessley said. “There’s options out there to open up flow…But we’ll handle it as needed.”

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