Major Fairfield intersection to see upgrades, which could drive more development

Dixie Highway commuters will have construction to navigate in late 2020 at the Boymel Drive intersection as crews will do realignment work.

The improvements will make the road safer, but there are also economic development benefits along with the improvement, said Greg Kathman, Fairfield’s Development Services director.

“I think it’s important also, for the business community to see public investment in the area,” he said. “They obviously invested a lot of money in their businesses … and I think it gives them reassurance that it’s a good place to be if they see the city continuing to invest in its public infrastructure. It gives them more security to make their private investments as well.”

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Boymel Drive is a significant economic area for the city, with retail, restaurant and other service industry businesses, and one of the city’s more popular banquet and conference halls, Receptions.

“Certainly economic development is one of the factors we look at when considering major infrastructure projects,” Kathman said. “We need to make sure the area is safe for motorists, and also convenient to get in and out of for the various businesses there.”

Fairfield City Manager Mark Wendling said improvements at Boymel Drive and the Ohio 4 intersection “has been targeted for a few years.”

“We’re making sure that Boymel stays up to our high standards, and helps to ensure that it serves the corridor overall,” Wendling said. “I think realigning the intersection is just going to be a lot safer.”

Boymel Drive is not a heavily traveled road, but City Engineer Ben Mann said the road had not seen improvements for several years. Between 5,000 and 10,000 motorists travel Boymel Drive, which is a half-mile long, from Sosna Drive to Mack Road. About 35,000 motorists travel this area of Ohio 4 daily, he said.

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“This project is will have a particular emphasis on adding a left-turn lane onto Route 4 from southbound Boymel Drive,” said Mann.

The project will also include work done on curbs, ramps and storm sewers, in addition to the Boymel Drive rehabilitation and improving the alignment of Boymel/Dixie intersection, he said.

City officials are asking the state to cover about half the project cost via an Ohio Public Works Commission grant. The city is asking the state to pay for $200,000 of the $402,300 project. Mann said the cost is lower than many other road improvement projects in recent years because it does not require additional work, such as traffic signal improvements.

The project is scheduled to be bid in the spring of 2020 and construction in late 2020, Mann said.

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