If you’ve driven Springfield Pike in the past few weeks (and who hasn’t?) you’ve noticed the signs…and the trucks…and the cones and the backhoes and the metal plates on the street. Road construction has come to Wyoming, and this is only the beginning. Starting this summer, the city plans to reconfigure traffic patterns on Springfield Pike and repair the road at the same time, a process that will last about 18 months.

Don’t panic.

Breathe deeply, calm yourself, and think of your happy place—Wyoming, Ohio, with a brand new road and brand new mains to go with it.

“We estimate that the mains in this area range from 90 to 125 years old,” says Mike Lippert, Water Works Director for the city. “They’re at the end of their useful life. Replacing them will improve water flow to the south end of town, and reduce the risk of breaks during and after construction.”

So before the road project can begin in earnest, the century-old mains must be dug up, removed and new ones installed, which is what is happening now. Furthermore, to accommodate the new storm sewers, must move the gas mains between Forest Avenue and Chestnut, and between and West Hill Avenue. Duke will also have to relocate 24 utility poles. That means occasional lane closures and traffic congestion, especially during rush hour…

You’re panicking. Breathe.

City officials recognize the difficulties, but stress that the plan will keep Springfield Pike open during the construction process…and that the results will be well worth it. In addition to new mains, the Pike will get new sub-base, the foundation of any road. The old sub-base is deteriorating rapidly, making emergency repairs less effective.

“It’s in bad shape,” says Wyoming City Manager Lynn Tetley. “There are sections in both the northbound and southbound lanes that will require full-depth reconstruction; no amount of pothole patching or spot repair will fix them.”

In places where the sub-base is still sound, the road will get new asphalt base and driving surface.

Okay, you say, so we need a new road. But why do we need new traffic patterns?

Two words: safety and flow. According to studies commissioned by the City of Wyoming, crashes on the Pike occur 44% more frequently than on similar roads statewide.

Terry Huxel, Public Works Director, says, “The City completed an engineering review of the traffic patterns, accidents and signaling; based on today’s standards and traffic modeling the new design provides for a safer and more efficient traffic flow on the Pike.”

The new design, which will feature one lane of traffic in each direction with a shared central turning lane, is predicted to reduce crashes by 29%. Combined with synchronized traffic lights, the new layout should make the Pike faster and able to handle more cars daily than the old design.

So yes, there will be some delays and heavier traffic in the months ahead, but it’s the way to a smoother, faster Springfield Pike.

Tetley says, “North and southbound traffic will be maintained… but there will be lane closures that will occur that may limit traffic to one way in both directions with no dedicated turn lane.”

The city will post regular updates and warnings of potential delays on social media, in the e-newsletter, and through their new emergency alert system, Nixle. This provides text-message and voice mail updates about important local advisories such as traffic holdups, utility outages and the like. Residents can sign up to receive these alerts by texting the word Wyoming to 888777 on their smartphones, or by visiting the city website and clicking on the widget at the bottom of the homepage.

To see the results of the traffic study, and to learn more about the project, the design, and the financing, click here to read the excellent article in the Winter 2017 issue of Word On Wyoming, or visit the dedicated Springfield Pike Reconstruction web page on the City of Wyoming website.