PaCkMaN's Cornerby , editor
The Louisville Bicycle Loop is only about a quarter done but has already shown some of the maintenance effort that will be needed. Damage is coming from both natural and human sources.
Ever since the River Walk portion from downtown to Chickasaw Park was completed over ten years ago, parts lying near the river have flooded about twice a year, becoming impassable for weeks at a time until the mud is cleared. Even then, the mud film that remains on the pavement is hazardous to walkers and cyclists alike. Because walls of mud build on each side of the pavement, that film washes onto the pavement in those spots with every rain. If possible, these sections should be rerouted from the river bank itself to adjacent higher ground, particularly as it rounds Shawnee Golf Course.
The Mill Creek Bridge was constructed specifically for pedestrians and cyclists, not heavier vehicles. The ends were blocked in the middle with steel posts to prevent 4- wheeled vehicles from crossing. But within weeks, vandals had removed the posts, presumably to cross with ATVs which are frequently used in the area. That left a rough hazard in the middle of the path for cyclists. This was reported by me to the city for repair. It would only be a matter of time before some crazy will try to take a full-size car or truck across, bringing the bridge down. Something in solid steel and perhaps a permanent bridge divider may be needed to prevent recurrences.
Last December 11, an approximately 500-foot stretch of new pavement on the Levee Trail section south of Greenwood Road was destroyed by a heavy truck. It might have been a mystery were it not for a club member (who wishes to remain anonymous) with a cellphone camera who caught the miscreants in the act. In this case it was not vandals per se, but MSD workers taking a shortcut who were not happy about being on candid camera. It was reported in December and repaired in mid-April. Although any bike path would have been damaged by a truck that size on rain-soaked ground, consideration should be given to asphalt thicker than one inch, particularly with no foundation, to prevent rapid fraying, deterioration and inevitable cracking and weed growth, at least up to River Walk standards.
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web posted: 17 Jan 2009
last updated: 17 Jan 2009