Construction Fence Goes Up To Keep Patrons Off RiverParks Trails

Wednesday, March 11th 2015, 5:33 pm
By: News On 6

RiverParks Trails from 27th to 35th Streets were closed on Monday, but that isn't keeping people from using the area.

Fencing is being installed to keep bikers and runners off the trails.

The Gathering Place construction zone is forcing people to find an alternate route.

Cyclist and runners were out at River Parks Tulsans are taking advantage of the warm weather, but the new fence brought them to an abrupt stop.

"I didn't realize until I got right here and I was like, ‘ohh,'” Courtney Overton said.

3/8/2015 Related Story: RiverParks Trails Close As 'The Gathering Place' Construction Begins

"I think that it is ridiculous; they block off the path that's already been done,” cyclist Roy Payne said.

The new fence stretches from the river all the way to Riverside Drive and blocks off about a mile of the trail.

Overton went around the trail closed signs until today.

"They never stopped me, just kept letting me walk into the construction,” she said.

The fence isn't finished yet, so we did catch some who went around it. One runner tried to keep going right past construction workers but was told to turn around.

A few cyclists peddled as far as they could, then got off their bikes to walk around.

"We were hoping to go through and go grab a snack, there are a few delis downtown," Randy Rahnenfueher said.

Jeff Stava, executive director of The Gathering Place, said the trail has to close so crews can work on underground utility lines.

“We realized all of a sudden with these open ditches going across where the trails are, it creates a very dangerous situation,” Stava said.

When the fence is finished, no one except construction workers will be able to get on the path.

“There is 25 other miles of trail, so there are going to be some short-term sacrifices, but I guarantee when it does re-open, it'll be a big gain for the community," Stava said.

2/25/2015 Related Story: Top Arborist Brought In To Preserve Gathering Place Trees

People who have used the trail for years say it'll be a big adjustment.

“I guess we won't come out here, that's sad," Overton said.

Payne added, “Every way you turn on the bicycle path, they got it torn up. So what's your plan now? What are you going to turn? I'm going to turn around and go back."

That part of the trail will be closed for a few years until The Gathering Place is complete, which is some time in 2017.