Five Rivers MetroParks is ready to seek bids for its $4 million RiverScape River Run project in downtown Dayton, designed to transform the Great Miami River into a recreational destination.
If everything goes according to plan, the project should be awarded to a contractor by April 15, and in-river construction should begin in July. Planners say the work will start that month to avoid disrupting the fish spawning season. Construction should take about a year.
A redesign of the project late last year increased available parking, engineered better access to the river and should result in a better paddling experience for users.
The Monument Avenue low dam will be removed in stages to lower the river level. Then, plans call for building two dam-like structures that offer passages for watercraft.
The redesign had to pass a review by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Miami Conservancy District.
Carrie Scarff, deputy director of Five Rivers MetroPark, said the exact construction schedule will be determined by the contractor.
“We are on the cusp now of moving forward with this,” she said.
River Run is a top-priority project in the Greater Downtown Dayton Plan. Similar to the original plan, River Run will feature two structures built with large limestone boulders spanning the Great Miami River. Each will have two passageways: a smooth water passage for novice paddlers and whitewater play features for the sport kayaks. One of the structures will be built on the foundation of the low dam.
RiverScape River Run partners are Five Rivers MetroParks, Downtown Dayton Partnership, Miami Conservancy District, the city of Dayton and Montgomery County.