By Conrad Dudderar
Senior Staff Writer
A new trail that encourages people to leave their homes and exercise outside was hosting Yukon walkers and bicyclists even before it was done.
The 1.75 mile-long, multi-use trail – which ultimately will connect Yukon to Lake Overholser – is welcoming more Yukon residents to bike and walk safely, City officials said.
“The trail was being used even before it was finished,” City of Yukon grant writer Claudia Krshka said.
The City of Yukon in 2014 was awarded a Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) grant through the Association of Central Oklahoma Governments and Oklahoma Department of Transportation to provide federal matching funds for this master trail.
Total construction cost was $619,714 for the trail, which stretches from Dickenson Park at First and Poplar to Yukon’s east boundary on Lakeshore Drive. In some parts, the walking/bicycle trail is on the public roadway.
The concrete trail is 10-feet wide in most areas and 6-feet wide in others. The project improves public safety by allowing both cyclists and pedestrians to utilize a new, wider path instead of being in the street and risk falling off the curb, Krshka said.
The project contractor, Crossland Heavy Constructors, had completed most of the trail late last fall. Crews had to return recently to finish a small section on both sides of the railroad tracks near Cornwell and Poplar.
“We were waiting for the railroad to do some work and that’s why (completion) got delayed for a few months,” Krshka said.
Lee Engineering was the project engineer.
FIFTH IN TRAIL SYSTEM
The new trail travels along the north side of Poplar from First Street to Cornwell, the west side of Cornwell from Poplar to Main Street, the south side of Main Street from Cornwell to Yukon Parkway, and the south side of Lakeshore from Yukon Parkway to Oklahoma City limits.
“It will be hooking up with an Oklahoma City trail that furthers it to Lake Overholser and other areas in the city,” Krshka said. “Oklahoma City is supposed to be starting on it right now.”
The Dickenson Park-to-Lakeshore Drive trail is the fifth in the City of Yukon’s trail system.
Other walking/bicycle trails are at the interconnecting Chisholm Trail, Freedom Trail and Yukon City parks, 500 W Vandament and 2200 S Holly; Kimbell Park, 525 S Seventh; Welch Park, 615 Annawood; and Greenbelt Park, 400 E Vandament.
Mayor Mike McEachern said the latest grant-funded trail was a “tremendous opportunity” for the City of Yukon to improve its infrastructure while helping enhance the “quality of life in our town.”
This new trail also is another “healthy opportunity” that Yukon can provide its pedestrians and bicyclists, the mayor added.
“Whenever you have a chance to upgrade your community with the assistance of grants, we need to take advantage of those opportunities whenever we can,” McEachern said.