Urban Archeology

There’s nothing to see in this picture except lots of mowed green grass and vast open space between the road where I’m standing and the river in the far background. That’s the whole point; this was once a sand and gravel mine owned by Dolese. Now OKC owns it along with my long often-muddy trail along the river. The initial clean up is finished. Vast piles of sand and gravel are gone, along with the huge machines that moved and processed all of it. From what I have been told, this will all become recreational space, though I’m sure the City will likely use it for some kind of storage, as well. Things change.

I rode the Midwest Boulevard-Wilshire-Katy Trail loop today. The hills along Wilshire are a brutal workout; I lost count, but had to shift down into A-3 multiple times. The hills end at Kelly Avenue, featured in this second image. Take a good look at it.

This is a very old street being rebuilt in order to widen it into four lanes. I’m standing on a concrete driveway apron. In the immediate foreground you can see the new lanes on the eastern side. In the middle ground is a concrete road bed which previously was covered in bricks. Those are now piled in the background on top of the temporary asphalt laid while the near lanes were put into place. The bricks were hidden under one or more old layers of asphalt. The brickwork is very old, but not quite ancient in terms of OKC history. Ancient bricks would not have had a concrete layer underneath. This was something intended as decoration, with specially made bricks. The ancient brick streets were made from common sized bricks planted directly into gravel and dirt. There’s very little of that left in Oklahoma. But what we see here is still very old brickwork.

There wasn’t much else that caught my eye today, but I keep carrying my newer camera on these long rides just in case.

About Ed Hurst

Disabled Veteran, prophet of God's Laws, Bible History teacher, wannabe writer, volunteer computer technician, cyclist, Social Science researcher
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4 Responses to Urban Archeology

  1. Iain says:

    Do you have a “before” picture of the gravel pit?


  2. Ed Hurst says:

    I searched back through the files here on the blog and the closest I come is a picture of the gate. I believe if you look at the site on Bing Maps at coordinates 35.518624, -97.393464 you’ll see an aerial view from back when it was still active. I was standing on the road to the east of that point and locking back to the west.


  3. Iain says:

    Wow. I can make out the concrete blocks and guess about where you were standing by the position of the trees. It’s too bad corporations have to be forced to do the minimum right, although it’s good PR to plant some grass. It’s says “we’re GREEN” and makes it acceptable for both sides to take their donations. I can’t remember the documentary but, it’s premise was that most pollution is produced by Agribusiness (meat production and fertilizer, etc) and that the reason the Big E environmentalists make such hay about vehicle emissions and whatnot is because Big Ag funds Big E. Solution=Vegan. Vegan=Expensive and Flavor Free unless you grow your own. I really miss the sacks of free veggies my Pop used to give us. Speaking of pollution, there’s a S load in manufacturing these devices we love so much but, that’s in Asia and we don’t see it so, it doesn’t exist.


  4. Ed Hurst says:

    Yeah Iain, very little is what it seems.


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