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Five Rivers MetroParks Great Miami Low Dam Modification


Great Miami Low Dam Modification Project

Dayton, Ohio
A dangerous low dam was modified to improve water quality and habitat and to make river access safer
Monument Avenue Dam modification work underway.
Mussel data collection prior to relocation.

Coldwater assisted Recreation Engineering & Planning, Inc. (REP) and Five Rivers MetroParks with the Great Miami Low Dam Modification Project in Dayton, Ohio. This multi-faceted project was designed to improve public safety, boater access and recreation, and stream habitat and water quality in downtown Dayton.

As part of the project, the existing low-head dam near Monument Avenue was partially removed in order to improve free-flowing conditions and to restore passage for aquatic life. A grade control structure was installed on the remaining structure, which includes a slower flowing canoe passage channel in the center of the river channel, and a faster flowing chute located closer to the right descending bank. A similar grade control structure was installed upstream of the Monument Avenue Dam, at RiverScape MetroPark.  These structures provide improved boater access and function to hold grade, reduce bank erosion, and enhance aquatic habitat.

Coldwater services for the project included site assessments, design support and review, completion of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Individual Section 10 and 404 Permit application and the Ohio EPA Section 401 Water Quality Certification application, support for the Miami Conservancy District permit application, cultural resources survey assistance, threatened and endangered species consultations, and stormwater permit compliance.

As a condition of the permit, the USACE required a mussel survey prior to construction.  Coldwater coordinated and assisted with the mussel survey and relocation effort, which was conducted in accordance with the Ohio Mussel Survey Protocol. Mussels were recovered at both structure locations and relocated upstream, prior to any in-stream work. The project was completed in early 2017, and has been open to the public since May 2017. It is popular with both experienced and novice paddlers.


Stream Restoration
Biological Assessments
In-Stream Grade Control

Environmental Permitting
Technical Reviews
Public Outreach