June 28, 2019

Plans Announced to Add Median on High Street in Summer 2020 to Allow for Safer Street Crossings

The City of Oxford and the Ohio Department of Transportation are planning major reconstruction of the central roadway through town.

High Street, running west from Patterson Avenue to Campus Avenue, will be closed to through traffic next summer as a raised center median strip is added and crosswalks are reconfigured. The project is expected to start after the spring semester of 2020 and to be completed by the start of fall semester of 2020, according to the city and the department of transportation.

Signs have gone up in Oxford announcing a reconstruction of High Street next summer. Photo by Aaron Smith

Anyone with concerns or objections about the project is asked to register them with, Oxford city engineer, Scott Otto by July 8 of this year.

The number of pedestrians in that area is incredibly high, especially while Miami University is in session, Otto said. Drivers on that section of the street must be especially careful due to so many crosswalks, and jaywalkers on the road.

High Street, looking east from here at Campus Avenue, will be reconstructed next year all the way to Patterson Avenue, to add a raised median and improve pedestrian safety. Photo by Aaron Smith

The main focus of the project will be to make the area safer for pedestrians by funneling them into fewer crosswalks, Otto said. The center turn lane will be raised and be used as a median with marked crosswalks. New crosswalks will be installed with brighter signage directing the pedestrians, he said.

“The median is designed to prevent pedestrians from locations that are not the crosswalk,” Otto said.

Cost of the project is estimated at $1.6 million. A federal grant was received by the Ohio Department of Transportation for $1 million dollars, and the rest of the cost will be covered by the university, Otto said.

The area to be affected is marked in red. The black arrows indicate how traffic will be detoured during the project. Map courtesy of the Ohio Department of Transportation

The project will not widen the road, Otto said. While the road is closed, traffic will be detoured onto South Main Street to East Chestnut Street to South Patterson Avenue, according to the plans. There will be access maintained for residents who live in the immediate area to enter and leave their property.

Meanwhile, this summer Oxford residents will be seeing a number of streets and alleys being resurfaced as part of the city’s 2019 street resurfacing project.  The $240,000 resurfacing project is being handled by Barrett Paving.

Every year the city surveys its streets to prioritize those in need of repair and tries to get the resurfacing done in the summer months when there is less traffic in the city because most of the Miami students are on break, Otto said.

The streets and alleys being resurfaced are Campus Avenue from Chestnut to High Street, Walnut Street, Vine Street, Poplar Street and alleys between High Street, Church Street, Beech Street and College Avenue. The resurfacing is set to be completed by late summer.