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Whitewater Park Receives Federal Funding

Posted on July 18, 2022


low dam overhead

The city of West Carrollton recently received exciting news regarding the new whitewater park initiative that is in the works on the Great Miami River. This project takes advantage of West Carrollton’s stretch of the Great Miami River as the only place that has a viable pool of water for boating and enough of a vertical drop for competitive kayaking, a canoe channel and river surfing in the region.

The City has received confirmations that county, state and most recently, federal funding support for the initiative has been awarded to the city.  “Last week, we were informed that Congressman Mike Turner obtained $3 million in federal funding for the City’s whitewater park project. The funds would be available in 2023 when we begin making improvements to the low dam as part of the whitewater park design,” said Mike Lucking, economic development director.

“West Carrollton’s long-term vision for the area along the Great Miami River is truly exciting. It is this type of economic development that has attracted families and businesses to the greater Dayton area. The $3 million in federal funding I secured for dam restoration will subsequently help launch this phase of their project and provide new tourism opportunities for West Carrollton,” said Congressman Turner.

It has been quite fortunate that a number of community partners such as the Miami Conservancy District and Five Rivers Metro Parks are enthusiastic and supportive of the project.

The City is in the preliminary feasibility study phase of the project which is expected to be completed by September 2022. McLaughlin Whitewater Group has been working locally with Burkhardt Engineering to collect base data pertaining to the river hydrology, various seasonal water levels and the like. This data will be used for design and permitting at a future phase of the project. “When the preliminary feasibility phase is complete, we will have a few concepts to consider for our whitewater project,” said Lucking. “We will focus on creating the best whitewater experience to match our budgetary considerations.”

As discussed in a community meeting held in May, central to these concepts will be addressing dam safety issues, a whitewater portage and a river surfing element. Other elements that the city will consider include access for fishing, overall access to the area as well as various hydraulic features that will allow a range of difficulty levels for different whitewater experiences depending upon users’ experience.

The City will again contract with the McLaughlin Whitewater Group to begin phase two of the project which will result in engineered design drawings to a 30% completion level. The City anticipates that the phase two process will likely take until the end of 2022 to complete with construction beginning in 2023.

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