Flooding of the Great Miami River not only damaged the bike path along the river in Hamilton, but it also damaged this pathway in Dayton. SEAN CUDAHY/STAFF

Great Miami River flooding damages bike path

The damage in Hamilton wasn’t severe, but, “it’s important to keep people away from it,” said Allen Messer, a city employee in public works and engineering.

Repair work may start as early as today, April 19.

The path is shut down from the Fitton Center for Creative Arts, which is located south of the High-Main Bridge, northward to the river’s hydraulic canal, which is near Hamilton’s 3rd Street power plant, until further notice.

“It’s still closed,” said Hamilton Public Works Director Jim Williams, “because we’ve got to do some work underneath that pad because of the erosion caused by the water flow. We have to bring in a contractor with specialized equipment that can facilitate the re-compaction of that base-course material that helps support that walkway.”

Crews posted warning signs after Friday’s flooding, Williams said, “but due to the high water over the weekend, some of that got washed down the river.”

Officials don’t know how much the repairs will cost. Welch Sand and Gravel of Harrison will do the work, which will depend on the weather and levels of the river.

Some, including the Miami Conservancy District, which built and maintains the flood levees along the river, envision the network of biking and walking trails becoming a Great Miami Riverway that can attract tourists and local people who might spend days of recreation along the area’s major waterway, other than the Ohio River.

Communities creating master plans along that 99-mile stretch are Piqua, Troy, Dayton, West Carrollton, Miamisburg, Middletown and Hamilton. There are 65 access points along the river’s recreation trail: 40 boat ramps and 25 kayak launch points.