After a whole week of hindrances, I finally got back out on my bike. Of particular note was yesterday’s massive flooding thunderstorm. Almost the entire state good a good dose of this thing and I knew it would help to make my point about the sometimes flawed hydrology of the Draper Bikeway as-yet under construction.
I’m doing this with before-and-after shots stitched together for impact. The “before” shots have been posted here before, and the “after” shots were taken today. First up is the issue of washouts. Previously the crews had left a couple of places vulnerable to washout. I don’t know how many times each spot got wiped out, but I know it was at least twice. So in the “after” shot today we have the first one resolved with a culvert. There are new culverts dropped at the other two spots, ready for installation. This issue halted paving, so the paver machines were moved down the other direction.
Remember the swamp I mentioned? The paving crew came down this direction and it turned into a disaster. The “before” shot is taken from the south side; the “after” shot is from the north, and after paving. Yes, that’s mud-covered asphalt running under that water. You’ll recall I noted this swamp was created in the first place by the original Draper Drive road construction. They failed to create a drain for this spot under that road, so putting one under the bikeway didn’t do a darn bit of good. One good rain like we had yesterday was enough to flood the whole thing, and it has nowhere to go except via evaporation.
The one good thing I’ve noted is that the work crews aren’t doggedly following the survey markers. In other words, it’s not as bad as I had thought it might be. This is the same hill before and after the crews plowed up the dirt for their initial pass. There’s still a long section, which I presume will follow the old Westminster Road route, that hasn’t even been surveyed yet. I’m really curious to see how they plan to reconnect the two ends to make a full circle.
As a bonus, I came back along SE 29th Street where Midwest City ran a new bikeway along the southern side. The bridge over Kuhlman Creek is still under construction and progress has been quite slow. But you can see they placed the bridge high for the sake of their own convenience, while the bike path is quite a drop below it. So they are doing what should have been a quick and easy ramping on both sides, but it’s not getting a lot of attention. The bridge was placed two or three weeks ago, if I remember correctly.
Cynicism comes naturally when you notice stuff like this.