Recent days may have felt like spring, but that doesn’t mean the new Rotary Riverfront Trail is open yet.
Parks and Recreation Director Darren Dunkle said there have been multiple reports of people walking on the new western portion of the trail. Dunkle said the trail is not open to the public and people should not be on the trail until it officially opens next year.
Dunkle said his crews have attempted to mark the trail as closed as clearly as possible. Signs and barricades have been set up, but they have either been moved or just ignored.
The trail itself has been asphalted and is ready to use, but the shoulder is unsafe, Dunkle said. There are several areas where guardrails and handrails are needed.
The recent warmer weather has helped move work along, but Dunkle said the trail won’t open until the guardrails are in place.
Dunkle said the trail also remains closed because crews are still working on the site. He said crews are also backfilling around the trail.
People walking around heavy machinery is a safety hazard, he said.
Dunkle said work continues on the trail, but everything likely won’t be done until spring 2018.
The asphalt trail is 12 feet wide and about 1 mile long.
The trail is located to the west of the current trail. The new trail extends west from the end of Elbert Drive across the former Rau and Politte properties.
The walking trail “snakes” around the 42-acre parcel of undeveloped land and around the 12.4 acres of wetlands on the site. The path runs along the northern boundary of the site near the Missouri River and then winds through a forest heading west where it would cross an existing culvert bridge.
The trail then loops around an existing agricultural field near the confluence of St. John’s Creek, the Missouri River and the City Park Creek.