by Jennifer Sierra
Lack of funding for the potential pier in Dayton has allowed more resources to be focused on The Riverfront Commons Trail. According to Dayton City Administrator, Michael Giffen regarding the pier, “Unfortunately, we are not much further than we were in the fall. We started a comprehensive plan for the entire riverfront project but KZF (the firm hired to complete the plans) is having difficulty getting feedback from The Army Corps of Engineers.
The city of Dayton has applied for a couple of grants for the Riverfront Commons Trail (a biking and walking path that will stretch from Ludlow to Dayton, Kentucky). Giffen is optimistic for those grants to be awarded in Dayton’s favor because the Trail is considered alternative transportation and there is more grant money available for alternative transportation projects than pier projects. “These grant are all about connecting people to the urban core.”
The grants that the city has applied for to help fund the pier have all been turned down. “Piers cost millions to get built. We have to bite off a little at a time and get funding for each step. We will always be actively looking for ways to achieve it.” Giffen added. Maysville’s pier took about 10 years from conception to completion. If Dayton is able to get funding for a pier one day, it might not be as grand as originally hoped due to the expense of such a project.
While there is a place for the pier on the schematic for Manhattan Harbour, the reality of the pier may not happen for some time but the construction for the Riverfront Commons Trail is expected to start as early as 2017. During the year 2016, city planners will spend time on the drawings for it. Southbank Partners is trying to help get the trail funded by covering the $21,000.00 needed for the comprehensive plan. Money that council approved last year to spend for the comprehensive plan for the pier and trail will now be refunded to the city.
The first phase of the walkway will connect to Berry Avenue. Some special features included are green spaces or a park at Berry Avenue and various nodes along the trail. Michael Giffen is excited about the idea that the city might be able to add a park on top of the drainage area where the gazebo used to sit in Manhattan Harbour. “There is one going in on the same type of drainage area next to Joe’s Crab in Bellevue and it is going to be beautiful.”
When completed, the floodwall trail in Dayton, Kentucky will be about 1.3 miles long and the lower level trail that will rest between the new single-family homes in Manhattan Harbour and the Ohio River, will also be about 1.3 miles long. This will give citizens access to the river that they haven’t had since the existence of Manhattan Beach in Dayton, Kentucky in the early 20th century.