Coffer dam under construction at Riverscape MetroPark. STAFF
Photo: WHIO-TV
Photo: WHIO-TV

Riverscape water park starts second construction phase

Construction has begun on the second water feature at RiverScape River Run, the whitewater play park in the Great Miami River downtown.

Heavy equipment including a backhoe and dump trucks are hauling rocks to the RiverScape MetroPark at the end of Jefferson Street.

To get the rocks, workers are dismantling a coffer dam built for the Monument Avenue dam reconstruction. A second coffer dam at RiverScape began reaching out into the river on Monday.

The coffer dam will lower river levels so that the second water feature can be built. It will be a dam-like structure with passages for watercraft that will stretch the width of the river.

“Re-purposing these materials saves costs and helps MetroParks meet its mission to protect the region’s natural heritage by making the project more sustainable,” said Carrie Scarff, Five Rivers MetroParks’ deputy director. “We will continue to re-purpose these materials for bank stabilization when the coffer dam is no longer needed.”

Five Rivers has partnered with Kokosing Construction Company Inc., the general contractor for the Interstate 75 project, to reuse construction materials at the RiverScape River Run site, Scarff said.

While construction is underway, parts of the Great Miami Trail along the riverfront will be closed. The closures will continue during the city of Dayton’s Lights in Flight Fireworks Show and Festival on July 3. Snow fencing will mark the parts of the trail that will be closed.

Work on the $4 million River Run project began in July 2015. The first water feature constructed is built atop what was the Monument Avenue low dam. It spans the river near the Dayton Art Institute. It is nearly complete.

Adjustments will be made this fall — after I-75 construction is complete — to improve the way the water flows through the chutes.

The project should transform the low dam — a drowning hazard for many years — into a safe passage for recreational paddlers and a whitewater chute for kayakers.

Scarff said it is hoped that River Run will be as popular as similar projects in Reno, Nevada; Missoula, Montana; and Golden, Colorado.