The RiverScape River Run attraction has reached its fundraising goal of $4 million and construction of it should begin next year, backers of the multi-use water recreation project announced Thursday.
The project would remake the Great Miami River in downtown Dayton into a draw for kayakers, canoers and fishing enthusiasts, along with members of the public who would just enjoy watching the action.
The bulk of the funding came from the private sector, businesses, foundations and public institutions. But the final fundraising push was opened to the public, raising the last $200,000.
The largest contribution was from the James M. Cox Foundation, which issued a challenge grant of $1 million. The foundation is the charitable arm of Cox Enterprises and Cox Media Group Ohio that includes the Dayton Daily News, WHIO TV, WHIO-AM/FM, Springfield News-Sun, Hamilton JournalNews and the Middletown Journal, as well as other publications and broadcast outlets in southwest Ohio.
The project is on schedule with construction expected to begin some time in 2013. Completion is expected in 2014.
It’s anticipated that the entrance to River Run will be in the vicinity of Jefferson Street and Monument Avenue. The River Run work includes the removal of the hazardous Monument Avenue low dam and the construction using large boulders of two structures spanning the Great Miami upriver from I-75. Each structure will have two passageways with drops: one slower passageway for canoes and a faster white water passage for kayaks.
With the low dam gone, paddlers can launch on the Mad River in Eastwood MetroPark and take a seven-mile paddle without takeouts from the Mad to the Great Miami and Carillon Historical Park.
The project requires a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, as well as permits from city of Dayton and Miami Conservancy District.
The Greater Downtown Dayton Plan envisions the project as a centerpiece feature to create a more vibrant, thriving center city.