September 29, 2022
The Montgomery County Transportation Improvement District (MCTID) announced the completion of the roadway improvements to US 40 from just west of Union Airpark Boulevard to the interchange connecting US 40 to the Dayton International Airport Access Road within Montgomery County. This included widening a portion of US 40 to five lanes to upgrade the existing infrastructure with better access for all drivers, including commercial vehicles making their way to the significant logistics hub that has quickly developed around the Dayton International Airport and the City of Union.
The roadway improvements that began 18 months ago as part of the I-70/75 Airport Logistics Access Project are the culmination of thoughtful planning and collaboration across multiple jurisdictions. Over the past 10 years, focused efforts to improve roadway access spurred new investments from consumer goods giants like Procter & Gamble and Amazon, resulting in more than 6,500 new jobs, capital investment of more than $700 million, and 12.5 million square feet of development utilized for planned and existing projects.
The project was managed by the MCTID, which implements public infrastructure improvements across geographic and political lines to improve safety, increase mobility, and build connectivity in local communities while stimulating economic development and enhancing the quality of life throughout the region.
“The US 40 project and surrounding roadway network improvements are a great example of how infrastructure investment works hand-in-hand with economic development,” said Crystal Corbin, executive director of the MCTID. “Conversations that started more than 10 years ago led to this tremendous growth and job creation, which benefits the entire region.”
“We truly believe the expansion of this stretch of road will boost our local economy,” said Montgomery County Commission President Carolyn Rice. “This development will further increase the appeal of the County for logistics, manufacturing, and distribution companies due to increased access, trusted infrastructure, and our talented workforce.”
“We’re pleased to deliver the US 40 improvements to the community on time and within the $12 million construction budget,” said Vanessa Glotfelter, director of engineering for the MCTID. “The project team worked closely with local businesses to try to make the impact to travel along the corridor as painless as possible. We’re happy to announce its completion.”
The US 40 improvements were needed to proactively address anticipated growth over the next several decades to ensure efficient travel for all who drive through this area. At the same time, the new pavement and expanded capacity will make development more attractive and competitive.
“This significant roadway improvement project would not have been possible without the collaboration from our regional partners,” said Corbin. “We appreciate the relationships we’ve developed across jurisdictions.”
Support for this project came from the City of Vandalia, Ohio Public Works Commission, JobsOhio, the Dayton Development Coalition, the City of Union, the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce, the City of Dayton, Montgomery County, and the Ohio Department of Transportation.
“Collaboration isn’t new to us,” added Corbin. “Over the years, MCTID has worked with multiple municipalities on other improvement projects to help bring new investment to Montgomery County and to prepare and support the regional roadway network for economic growth.”
The City Manager of Union, John Applegate, has had a progressive mindset about the possibilities for new investment since 1995. Though he initially set out to help local farmers by annexing their land across the Stillwater River to provide water access, he soon realized the opportunity for new investment. After annexing thousands of acres of farmland over 27 years, Union’s city limit moved closer to the Dayton International Airport. With plenty of land for developers, but limited roadway access, he partnered with the MCTID to plan and build the infrastructure, which led to growth.
“It was a risk to agree to the construction of new roads, but we moved forward because we could see the area’s potential,” said Applegate. “We knew that new roads and improvements to existing roads, like US 40, are key to attracting companies to this area and implementing the public infrastructure necessary to support these developments.”
In 2012, a consortium of local governments, coordinated by MCTID’s former executive director, Steve Stanley, entered into an agreement to plan for supporting roadway improvements in connection with imminent economic development. The purpose would be to house new private sector logistics, distribution, and other industrial facilities near the I-70 and I-75 interchange and the airport. Anticipating the need to improve US 40 to accommodate future traffic growth, in 2014 MCTID applied for and received, a Tier 2 TRAC (Technical Review Advisory Council) allocation from the Ohio Department of Transportation to design a roadway upgrade.
Seemingly, this is a story of “build it and they will come.” The design of Union Airpark Blvd. within the City of Union was underway without any prospects requesting roadway access at the time. Unbeknownst to the team, Procter & Gamble was looking to improve its US distribution network and in 2014 built a $90 million multi-brand mixing facility on the corner of Jackson Road and a portion of a newly constructed roadway Union Airpark Blvd. It brought 1,400 jobs to the region.
Other developers soon followed, growing a nationally-significant logistics hub destination with ready access to both I-70 and I-75. Recent investment includes:
- Chewy opened a roughly 690,500-square-feet facility along Lightner Road near the airport in 2019.
- Frito-Lay, Innovative Plastic Molders, and Pratt located on Dog Leg Road in 2019.
- Crocs constructed its first of two distribution centers in 2019 on Dog Leg Road and added a second distribution center in 2021 on Union Airpark Boulevard.
- Legrand located along a newly constructed roadway, Douglas Way, north of Jackson Road adjacent to Procter & Gamble’s Dayton Mixing Facility 2022.
- An Opus/Balboa Development constructed a speculative building along Jackson Road west of the Procter & Gamble facility in 2022.
Future development includes:
- Amazon plans to open a delivery station on Lightner Road in early 2024 and a fulfillment center in 2023.
- TJX Companies, an Exeter Company Development, located along newly constructed Douglas Way north of Jackson Road between Legrand and the Procter & Gamble Dayton Mixing Facility.
- Dayton Freight to open on Old Springfield Road in 2023.
- Sierra Nevada, a new aircraft maintenance facility, is under construction on a 16-acre site at the Dayton airport, set to open in 2023.
- Panattoni Development Company is constructing a 525,000-square-foot building on Old Springfield Rd. projected to be complete in 2023.
- Other developments will be located on Union Airpark Boulevard south of Jackson Road in the near future.
“The most recent announcement was from Amazon and the City of Union for a fulfillment center along Union Airpark Blvd.,” said Corbin. Construction is expected to cost more than $21 million. When opened, the fulfillment center is expected to employ 1,500 full-time staff.
In addition to new investment in the region, the US 40 improvements also support access to existing local companies and local education.
“The improvements on US 40 have made it safer and easier to travel to our business location,” said Christian Hahn, General Manager, Joseph Airport Toyota/Hyundai. “It has also made the area more attractive for new companies to locate here, which added new jobs to the market. People need reliable transportation for their employment, and this has had a positive impact on our business and will continue to as the area grows.”