UP BikePed Bridge Context
It is always exciting when the Arkansas River Trail gets attention. Of course this trail is an important tourist and recreational resource as well as a critical bicycle and pedestrian transportation corridor. The current project to help close the loop is the UP BikePed Bridge. What impact will the BikePed Bridge over the UP tracks have on the Arkansas River Trail (ART)?
Keep ART users north of Cantrell/LaHarpe
Coupled with the Western Terminus, this bridge will help keep the ART route north of LaHarpe.
A Piece of the Puzzle
The Arkansas River Trail Loop has several challenges. Each challenge is expensive to address and requires negotiation and collaboration with different stakeholders. Closing the Loop must therefore be done piecemeal over time but with a larger, cohesive vision. This bridge is one of the pieces that will close the loop.
Bridge in ART Context
Going from east to west….
Clinton Presidential Bridge to Arch St.
The Broadway Bridge construction required the establishment of a detour between the Clinton Bridge and Arch St. Completion of the Broadway Bridge construction will eliminate that detour and reestablish a continuous, off-street bicycle and pedestrian trail from the Clinton Presidential bridge to Arch St. This trail will likely be reopened by late summer or early fall 2017.
Arch St. to the BikePed Bridge
As of now, the ART will have to be routed onto city streets on or just west of Arch St. to the BikePed Bridge (see Picture 3). We have applied for a Federal Land Access Program (FLAP) award to fund a ramp from the BikePed Bridge to the Medical Mile (Picture 2). If funded, after the Broadway Bridge construction is complete, this ramp would result in a continuous off-street trail from the Clinton Bridge to Dillard’s Data Center.
The UP BikePed bridge will not close the loop, but it is a necessary piece to do so. Several of the ART Loop challenges are actively being addressed; the completion of this bridge will be a resolution to one of those important challenges.