Construction closes part of High Street until mid-August


Photo by David Wells

Reconstruction of High Street will detour traffic until Aug. 19.

By Kylie Pursifull

High Street between Campus Avenue and Patterson Avenue will be closed until Aug. 13 as the road is reconfigured to improve pedestrian safety and repaved, according to Scott Otto, an engineer for the City of Oxford.

The construction is part of a two-step project for pedestrian safety improvement and urban paving. 

The pedestrian safety improvement part of the project includes the construction of a landscaped median island in what is currently the center turn lane of High Street from Campus Avenue to Patterson Avenue. It will also include new pedestrian crosswalks equipped with rapid flashing beacons. This project will be similar to the one that was done on S. Patterson Avenue in the summer of 2018, and will also include new lighting, sidewalks, and bus drop-off areas.

Road Closed signs on High Street at Campus Avenue mark the beginning of the eastbound detour through Oxford this summer. Photo by Kylie Pursifull

This section of High Street has a high number of pedestrians, particularly when Miami University is in session, crossing from one part of the campus to another. The center turn lane will be made into a raised traffic island. The new configuration will help funnel pedestrians into a few designated crosswalks.

The project was to be completed last summer but was delayed due to the pandemic.

Photo provided by the Ohio Department of Transportation

A separate project that includes Miami’s sanitary sewer replacement will be along the south side of High Street during the same period.

According to Otto, the pedestrian safety project will cost $2.9 million, with $1 million of it being paid by the Ohio Department of Transportation from a safety grant the city has received. Miami will pay the remaining $1.9 million. 

The paving project is $454,759.30, with the Ohio Department of Transportation paying for approximately $250,000. The City of Oxford will pay the remaining portion of the paving project, said Otto.

Reconstruction of High Street between Patterson Avenue, looking east toward Campus Avenue will force traffic to detour around the area until Aug. 19. Photo by David Wells

The need for the projects comes from a comprehensive traffic and pedestrian study done by Miami in 2017. The study showed a need for better management of the high volume of pedestrian traffic on High Street. The median islands were selected as a solution to use, and Miami and the City of Oxford partnered to successfully apply for the safety grant funding from the Ohio Department of Transportation. 

During the projects, pedestrian crossings will be available at High Street and Patterson Avenue as well as High Street and Tallawanda Drive.