Grand opening/ribbon-cutting set for spring –
From the Adams County Travel & Visitors Bureau –
The two new personal watercraft access sites on Ohio Brush Creek have been completed and are now open for public use. A project by the Adams County Travel and Visitors Bureau to provide canoe and kayak access to Ohio Brush Creek had been in the works all summer long. Construction of the sites by Cooper’s Excavating of Winchester began in September with the last site completed on Nov. 29. The two canoe access sites are located off St. Rt. 348 at the St. Rt. 348 Bridge over Ohio Brush Creek and at the St. Rt. 125 Bridge. It is an approximately three mile float from the St. Rt. 348 Bridge to the St. Rt. 125 Bridge access. Parking is available at both sites.
This project will open up recreational opportunities for both visitors and residents, will provide a boost to eco-tourism, and will provide untold benefits in recreation, business, education, and appreciation of Adams County’s outdoors and nature for years to come.
According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), canoes and kayaks are the fastest growing segment of watercraft usage. With this in mind the Adams County Travel and Visitors Bureau looked to tap into this growing watercraft market and sought funding to undertake the project.
“I had contacts within the ODNR that I thought could help direct me to a source of funding,” said Executive Director of Adams County Tourism Tom Cross. “I had wishes to develop two sites but was ready to settle for one depending on the cost. Late in 2015 acting Ohio Division of Watercraft Chief Mike Miller called and said ODNR would grant the Adams County Travel and Visitors Bureau (ACTVB) $10,000 to build two access sites on Ohio Brush Creek. That started the wheels in motion, however, the Bureau had to apply for a permit from the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) to develop sites at the St. Rt. 348 and 125 Bridge.”
Cost estimates to develop the two canoe sites came in at around $15,000, $5,000 over budget, but James Zehringer, Director of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, agreed that ODNR would cover the additional expense to develop two sites and increased the grant to $15,000.
Construction cost for the access at the St. Rt. 348 Bridge cost $6,821.33. Cost for construction at the St. Rt. 125 Bridge has not been tabulated yet, but total construction cost for both sites are expected to total $15- 17,000. with the ACTVB covering any additional expenses.
Construction included excavation of the sight, using railroad ties for steps which were doubled and pinned together with ¾ inch rebar, reinforced with large gravel, and covered with concrete to stand up against flooding. Above the flood plain, gravel was used on the path leading to the steps. After construction, the area was landscaped, seeded, and covered with straw.
ODOT provided new signage at both locations and have committed to improving the parking area at the St. Rt. 125 Bridge and any other improvements that might be needed.
Ohio Brush Creek is a beautiful free flowing stream and considered one of the gems of southwest Ohio.
“This project is one of many that has been undertaken by the Adams County Travel and Visitors Bureau to enhance and develop Adams County’s tourism,” said Cross.
A grand opening and ribbon cutting is planned for next spring.