Five Rivers Metroparks has announced changes to the plan for a downtown Dayton kayaking run, which means a delayed timeline for the Riverscape River Run.
Right now kayakers who want to pass through downtown can’t do so safely due to an old low dam near I-75 that creates a five-foot drop-off. The plan has been to knock out the dam and build two new kayak-friendly drops near Riverscape Metropark, each including an easy and difficult drop for kayakers of different skill levels. Under the new plan, one of the drops will actually be at the location of the old dam near the Dayton Art Institute, where planners say visitors will have better access and free parking.
“The primary goal of this project is economic development for the downtown,” says Carrie Scarff, deputy director of Five Rivers Metroparks. The hope is that the $4 million project will draw visitors to downtown Dayton and contribute to making the region a more attractive place to live and work.
Construction should start on the revised design in July 2015 and take approximately one year. The project, which is a collaboration between Five Rivers Metroparks, the Downtown Dayton Partnership, the Miami Conservancy District, the city of Dayton and Montgomery County, is funded by a mix of public and private donors and foundations. A vision for a river run was part of the 2010 Greater Downtown Dayton Plan.
Lewis Wallace is WYSO's managing editor, substitute host and economics reporter. Follow him @lewispants.