“ The goal is to reshape the levee so the river slope is going to be flatter,” Rinehart said. “Right now it’s very steep and inaccessible.”
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Rinehart said the project — to be partially built over a vacated portion of Bank Street — will widen the levee, making it stronger and easier for the Miami Conservancy District to maintain.
The new concrete ramp will also provide more direct access to the river and bikeway for residents on the west side of Dayton, said Carrie Scarff, chief of planning and projects at Five Rivers MetroParks. The new ramp near Wright-Dunbar Village and the Wolf Creek neighborhood will complement a Fifth Street ramp and a yet-to-be built ramp at Great Miami Bouleverd.
“It gives people a take out downstream from the River Run and downtown,” Scarff said.
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Kayakers using Dayton’s new $4.5 million River Run, which opened in May, should find the new downstream ramp a convenient and safe place to take out, Scarff said. So long as space is available, the public can park in the lot at the Dayton Cultural and RTA Center, according to the city.
“With the public parking that’s provided with this access we feel like it will be a prime spot for people who want to come to the river to fish or take out their kayaks, canoes or stand up paddleboards,” Scarff said.
The project comes as a number of groups are examining a 20-year master plan to expand recreation opportunities and economic development around the region’s rivers.
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A $393,000 contract with R.B. Jergens Contractors Inc., for the project covers demolition, new earthwork and ramp construction. A future phase that may include amenities such as a walkway, lighting, benches and swings is not yet funded, according to the Miami Conservancy District.