The Tait Station low dam is dangerous and deteriorating. Its removal would open up more of the river to paddling. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

Dangerous dam to be removed, easing paddling of Great Miami River

By fall, a second dangerous low dam along the Great Miami River will be gone, easing the way for paddlers downstream of downtown Dayton.

A $1.75 million project to remove the Tait Station low dam between Dryden Road and Interstate 75 is set to begin July 1, according to the Miami Conservancy District (MCD).

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“Removing Tait Station Low Dam is a real positive for the paddling community,” says Sarah Hippensteel Hall, Miami Conservancy District manager for watershed partnerships. “Low dams are notoriously dangerous. Boaters can be trapped at low dams and drown. Now, people will be able to more safely enjoy this section of the river.”

Once done in October, water will riffle over stones, creating a safer experience while improving river access in the area of UD Arena and Carillon Historical Park, according to MCD.

Another low dam at Monument Avenue in downtown was partially removed beginning in Sept. 2016 and transformed into one of the features of the $4 million RiverScape River Run, a kayak play area with boating passages that opened in May 2017.

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MCD worked with the Ohio Department of Transportation, which is fully funding the project that is also expected improve water quality and habitat for fish, insects and birds along the river.

The 2015 US Army Corps of Engineers report about the Great Miami River Corridor recommended removing the low dam. Both the City of Dayton and Montgomery County passed resolutions supporting the project.

The dam serves no flood protection service nor any other current purpose, but would require $5 to $8 million in repairs, according to MCD.

MCD’s work along the river corridor encompasses 99 miles of river along with paved trails connecting southwest Ohio communities.