There's lot of talk about river improvements these days. Should there be a tax? Should there not? The News On 6â€™s Steve Berg reports the fact is, some trail improvements are already happening, thanks to third penny money, federal money and the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Theyâ€™re already halfway done with improvements on the trail at 71st and Elwood. It's just one small part of the total river improvement plan, but it's taking shape quickly.
Tulsa River Parks Authority director Matt Meyer showed the News On 6 the trail and the trench that's being dug for the electrical line. The two-mile trail extension is funded with about $500,000 in third-penny money and $500,000 in federal funds.
"The Kaiser Family Foundation contributed to this section also, $70,000 to make the trail wider, three feet wider than originally designed and another $114,000 to put lights on it,â€ Meyer said.
Meanwhile, work is forging ahead with the $12 million the Kaiser Foundation gave to widen the trail elsewhere.
"That is the first section on the east side that is going to be completely renovated with dual trails wherever it fits. There is a little tree removal going on,â€ Meyer said.
The dual trails will be a 10-foot wide path for pedestrians and a separate 10-foot wide path for cyclists.
"It's a safety issue mostly,â€ said Meyer. â€œWe've had a lot of near-misses and occasional hits where a cyclist will either brush or hit a pedestrian, and we have some unfortunate accidents."
By the time the public vote on the river tax happens in October, the trail should be close to complete.
"I think the Kaiser Foundation made this initial donation early on because trails are pretty non-controversial, and people could see the results of some of the work that's being done,â€ Meyer said.
Most parts of the existing trail are eight feet wide. Many parts will be 20 feet wide, so there are big changes in store for the trail system.
Watch the video: Trail Improvements Underway