Bike Trail Slope Causes Safety Concerns

Construction will start next week on a $3.1 million bike trail extension that neighbors predict will provide a wild ride. A quarter of a mile section of the project will be on a hill that has an average 11 percent slope. Byers Shaw lives across River Drive from the trail route. Shaw said, “You’ll have inexperienced bikers maybe exceeding 30 miles and hour downhill going against traffic of people coming up the hill either hiking or biking.”

Jim Becic of the Papio Natural Resources District said the path of the one and a half mile section is the best of the worse options.
Becic said, “If we’re going to connect the one point five miles this is the best route. I challenge anybody to find us a different route where we don’t have problems.”

The project has been on the drawing board for six years. Construction will begin next week and take an estimated 200 days. 80 percent of the cost is paid through federal funds with the remainder coming from the Papio NRD.

The NRD did work with Omaha Public Power to change one part of the plan that would have caused destruction of two, 200 year old oak trees. That change relieves concerns of neighbors that the project would cause harm to some older trees along the path.

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