There’s nothing like a good hard rain to show you major hydrology flaws in the bikeway. I rode out to Draper Lake yesterday to check on the bikeway. This shot was taken up on the northern end of the loop. You can see how poor drainage created a spot where water pools up on the trail bed. There was some kind of emergency work to drain it off because they are preparing this for paving soon, but it will need a lot more work to prevent it happening again.
I can report that the trail cutting has made good progress, all the way down to SE 134th for the initial clearing work, and the second pass for initial landscaping is down as far as SE 119th. I’ve marked in lavender what I was able to discern checking without getting in their way. However, without aerial photography, there’s really nothing that comes out on camera. They are using mostly the old Westminster roadbed, but around 134th they have to turn back into the woods and cut a raw path until they get past the boat dock area. Some sections of Westminster are still used for vehicle access to the lake, particularly coming in off SE 134th. However, there is no such access near SE 119th.
Down and around on the dam, I noticed that we are still waiting for the pump and valve house construction to finish, but farther along toward the western anchor of the dam I noticed this digging around that swampy spot that I pointed out previously as a trouble area. All of the heavy grass has been uprooted and dumped over the trail on the high side. While I suggest it needs a good build-up with culverts running under it, I can’t guess what they are up to just yet.
We do have some good news: The swamp has been cleared and a flow established. I knew there was an old culvert draining this mess, but it was blocked by at least one very large cluster of willows, and filled with silt. It’s still almost full of silt, but the trees are gone and a trench dug across to the culvert. What it still needs is the culvert flushed out and some rip-rap placed near where the water enters it to prevent silting up again. I’m not sure they’ll do that, so I look for the swamp to flood again this fall when the storm season returns.
I also note that the blacktop has been extended between the start at Point 5 and the model aircraft flight strip. That section took an awful lot of work and it’s still got a couple of places where water is likely to collect and soften the trail bed.