Oklahoma City civic leaders broke ground recently on the Will Rogers Trail, the second of three trails included in MAPS 3.
“Building a city that gives residents more safe places to walk or ride a bike is a priority of the City Council, and today gets us 8 miles closer to our goal,” said Mayor Mick Cornett. “Once all of the MAPS 3 Trails are built, cyclists, pedestrians, skateboarders and families pushing strollers can travel safely between Lake Hefner, Lake Overholser and the Oklahoma River.”
Cornett was joined by Ward 1 Councilman John Greiner, Ward 2 Councilman Ed Shadid, MAPS 3 Citizens Advisory Board Chairman Tom McDaniel and other civic leaders as they broke ground on the trail at Will Rogers Gardens, a trailhead along the route.
The Will Rogers Trail’s north trailhead includes a parking lot at Meridian and Northwest Expressway just south of Lake Hefner. Heading southeast, the protected trail generally follows the Northwest Expressway to the Lake Hefner Parkway. A crosswalk will get pedestrian and cyclists across N.W. Expressway safely.
The trail will follow I-44 south as it wraps around the north side of State Fair Park, then turning south following May Ave. to its south trailhead on the Oklahoma River Trail system.
All but two blocks of the 8.1-mile urban asphalt trail will be protected.
The debt-free, $13.5 million, 8.1-mile trail will connect thousands of residents, workers, shoppers and visitors in the neighborhoods, businesses, hotels and more along its route to the growing Oklahoma City trails system.
The ADA-compliant, multi-use trail is designed for two-way traffic. Construction is expected to be completed in late 2017 or early 2018.
The project engineers are MKEC Engineering, MacArthur Associated Consultants and Johnson and Associates. Rudy Construction is the contractor.
Route planning is currently under way for the 13-mile Lake Draper Trail. The West River Trail was finished in 2015 and was the first of the three MAPS 3 Trails to be completed.
Design is under way on the Lake Draper Trail, the last trail included in the program.
About MAPS 3: MAPS 3 is a $777 million capital improvement program to improve the quality of life in Oklahoma City. It is funded by a 1-cent sales tax initiative that began in April 2010 and ends in December 2017. MAPS 3 funds eight projects: Downtown Convention Center, Downtown Public Park, Modern Streetcar/Transit, Oklahoma River Improvements, Oklahoma State Fairgrounds Improvements, Senior Health and Wellness Centers, Trails and Sidewalks.