Largest bridge project in Montgomery County history nears end; opening planned for later in fall

DAYTON — Dayton’s West Third Street bridge over the Great Miami River is nearing completion after two years of construction and is planned to reopen later this fall.

““The old Third Street Bridge was 114 years old, and in desperate need of replacement,” said Montgomery County Commission President Judy Dodge. “This new structure is beautiful – both from the bridge deck and the bike path below – and it will be illuminated at night to feature all this lovely art. It’s really an attraction for Dayton and Montgomery County.”

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The bridge has become known as Dayton’s Peace Bridge after events like the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day March and Longest Table were held on the bridge.

The $17 million bridge features art cast into the concrete including images from the original 1963 Peace March, the Wright brothers, Paul Lawrence Dunbar and a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“We had a series of discussions with artists, historians, journalists and citizens from Wright Dunbar Neighborhood,” said County Engineer Paul Gruner, P.E., P.S. “There was agreement that our Peace Bridge should speak to African American struggles, our city’s rich history, and the legacy of this important structure. I think everyone involved is very proud of the results.”

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The new bridge features observation platforms and a wide pedestrian walkway that features African Adinkra symbols to represent healthy and peaceful human behavior, according to the county.

The bridge was build using 89 percent federal funding and the remaining funds came from Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission, Ohio Public Works Commission and the Montgomery County Engineers Office.

The Eagle Bridge Company of Sidney was the primary contractor on the project.