Earlier the Oklahoma City Trails Coordinator was contacted and was able to get more information concerning trail maintenance and closures. There is a lot going on so here are the highlights:
West River Trail
Parts of the trails is closed while an engineering firm studies the damage to the banks caused by flooding in May. In particular, the section south of Reno was severely affected. When the trail was originally built the city purchased around 40 feet of property from the trucking company which owns the storage lot on the east side of the trail. Unfortunately, the flooding eroded the bank back 35 feet so now the trail is within five feet of a steep drop off into the river. How to resolve this situation will take some time and planning. In the meantime lots of the West River Trail is closed and blocked by locked fence gates.
9/8/2019: Ideas for detour provided by ProBike :
WEST RIVER TRAIL--A BYPASS IS POSSIBLE BUT THERE IS ONE PROBLEM
This morning I could not drag myself out of bed in time to ride in the Streak so I decided to see if I could find a practical way to bypass the closed section of West River Trail. I had looked at Google Earth and found a route that looked promising.
There are locked gates across the trail just south of !-40 and about 200 yards to the south of that one. These gates close off the section of trail which river erosion has caused to be dangerously close to a 30 foot drop into the river. Some people have been managing to get around these locked gates. DO NOT do this. If you happen to be on that section when it decides to collapse you and your bike may become a deeply buried discovery for some archaeologist 1000 years from now.
So I took off on my mountain bike since it looked like there might be some gravel or dirt to cross. From the start of WRT at NW 10th and Lake Overholser I rode south to Reno where there is a sign saying that the trail is closed. (Photo 1 ) Turning left (east) here will take you to the trail parking area along Reno. From there I wanted to go east on Reno but there is a deep ditch in the median. There is a wide shoulder on the inside lane though so I waited until there was no traffic in sight and rode about 100 yards east to a crossover. ( photo 2 ) From there I took Reno Eastbound for about 1/4 mile to Eagle Lane where I turned right (south) to SW 3rd. This is a warehouse district so there is no traffic on a weekend morning. ( Photo 3 ) Following SW 3rd east for about 1/2 mile I arrived at Council Road. Turning right (south) I crossed over I-40 to SW 8th. On the east side at the SW 8th intersection there is a little used paved road heading southeast. (Photo 4) That will take you to WRT in about 200 yards.(photo 5 )
That should be the whole story but there is a problem. About 1 mile west from Crystal Lake and SW 15th on the trail there is another bridge with a gate across it. (Photo 6 ) As I stood there trying to decide what to do a friend of mine rode up and remarked that he had been going around that gate. it is definitely and nuisance to do that and, really, there is no need for that gate. The two gates farther west on the trail block off the dangerous area as much as possible and if that third gate were removed the bypass I describe above would be quite easy.
I have included pictures of the bypass I took today. ( Photo 8 ) It is easily rideable on a road bike but bear in mind that we are in the middle of sticker season so watch out, especially where tall grass and weeds are near the trail.
In general, I would say that the bypass works best westbound but if you do not mind riding against traffic on the shoulder for 100 yards, eastbound is good too.
River Trail - Portland to Meridian
The Oklahoma River Trail (South) will be closed from meridian Ave. to Portland Ave. starting Aug. 5th. This also includes the parking lot. The closure is expected to remain in effect for 30 days.
The vast amount of dirt eroded from riverbanks upstream had to be deposited somewhere and because the dammed portions of the river cause the flow of water to slow there has been a huge buildup of sediment upstream from around May Avenue. If you bike along the river trail through there you will see that the river bed is quite a lot higher than it was before the flooding. Consequently, the city will soon begin a major dredging operation between Meridian and Portland Avenue. While this is being done that portion of the river trails will be closed.
River Trail - Boathouse to Portland
The original river trail between Portland and the Chesapeake Boathouse will be repaved and bridges that were damaged in the flooding will be repaired. This is not something that will be done immediately so we can still ride those portions of the trail with no problems.
Lake Overholser Trails is closed for resurfacing until August 9.
The Hefner - Overholser Trail is closed for resurfacing until December 15.
A portion of Lakeshore Drive along the westside of Hefner Golf Course will be closed due to construction. The closure does NOT effect Bert Cooper trail, but does impact the trail crossing near Lakeshore Park where the trail goes from the eastside of the street and crosses to the westside of the street. Click here for a Map of a detour. This closure will start on Aug. 13 and reopen around Nov. 21st.
WEST LAKESHORE DRIVE CLOSED FOR CONSTRUCTION - Intersection at Britton and dam road will be closed for one week.
Anglers, motorists and cyclists who use Lake Hefner for their commuter or recreational needs will need to adjust their plans while a portion of the road that borders the west side of Lake Hefner is closed for repaving through November, 2019.
Road and trail users should be aware of the following:
* The intersection at Britton Road and West Lakeshore Drive (dam road), including the multi-use trail that parallels the road, will be closed from Monday, Aug. 26 through Tuesday, Sept 3., so crews can repave the intersection. It will then re-open while the remainder of the road is completed.
* The area closed includes a half-mile stretch of West Lakeshore Drive that extends south from Britton Road to Prairie Dog Point.
* The multi-use trail that crosses West Hefner Drive near Prairie Dog Point will remain open for most of the project using a temporary gravel surface. Cyclists and pedestrians may find the crossing point closed from time to time as is necessary for construction.
Those are the main points currently concerning OKC trails. So keep riding and we can deal with construction projects as they happen! Thanks to Pro-Bike for the info.
For trail closure questions please call 297-2945.