The original bridge was opened in 2003 and was supposed to last about three-quarters of a century.
But the bridge was shut down in late 2018 after just 15 years of operation after inspectors discovered its beams were rusting from the inside because of water intrusion.
Water spray from nearby fountains in the river was getting inside the tubular beams.
The new bridge is made of galvanized steel and solid beams and has an estimated lifespan of 75 years.
“The Deeds Point Pedestrian Bridge is a key connection located at the nexus of our region’s more than 350 miles of connected trails — the nation’s largest paved trail network,” said Carrie Scarff, chief of planning and projects for Five Rivers MetroParks. “Connections such as the bridge are critical to maintaining that paved trail network, which make it fun and easy for Dayton-area residents and visitors to enjoy a healthy, active outdoor lifestyle.”
Joggers and pedestrians immediately started using the new bridge on Friday, which makes it easy to get from downtown and RiverScape to Deeds Point and downtown’s only dog park.
Since late 2018, joggers, walkers and bicyclists had to use the Webster Street bridge to access the area north of the Mad River, including a trail that leads up to Kettering Field.
A ribbon cutting for the new 440-foot bridge will take place at 9:15 a.m. June 28, and many local leaders and park and transportation officials are expected to attend.
The project was expected to cost about $2.8 million.