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
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.
ANOTHER OPTION: Continue on the trail past the Reno Ave. bridge to the truck dealership. Push your bike up the hill on the north side of the dealership fence to the street. Ride south to SW 8th and turn left. You will have to cross Council with no traffic control so BE CAREFUL. On the east side of council is a gravel pathway that leads to the trail. You take this route at your own risk.
River South Side Trail - Portland to Meridian
This portion of the trail is now open, but the south side of the river trail is closed farther to the east. Trail users must use the north side trail crossing over at Portland Ave.
River Trail North Side - Boathouse to Portland
The original river trail between Portland and the Chesapeake Boathouse has been mostly repaved. Bridges that were damaged in the flooding will be repaired. This is not something that will be done immediately but we can still ride those portions of the trail with no problems.
Lake Overholser Trails resurfacing work is completed. There may be short temporary closings in some areas for erosion repairs or prevention.
The Hefner - Overholser Trail is now open with a new surface.
The Lake Hefner trail resurfacing work is completed. There could be possible short closures or bypasses for short-term work on erosion or problem areas in the trails.
For trail closure questions please call 297-2945.