View Full Version : What's happening with the Lake Hefner trail?

Joe Kimball
01-09-2008, 10:30 AM
I did a quick search and saw nothing---excuse me if I repost.

I was by the lake yesterday, entering on Britton heading east, and I saw the very conspicuous roadblock fence cutting off access to the dam road (and therefore ~3.5 miles of the trail). I also noticed what appeared to be construction on the gravel road below the dam. I was curious as to what's happening, and when things will be back?

01-09-2008, 11:37 AM
Dam Repair Notice

11/21/2007 Contact: Debbie Ragan – 297-3363
Lake Hefner Dam road and trail to close for repairs

The Lake Hefner Dam road and trail between Britton Road and Old Lakeshore Drive will close for approximately six months beginning in December or early 2008 for repairs. This road is primarily used for recreational purposes, and construction will not cause traffic detours outside the lake property.

The erosion along the bank and under the road occurred over a number of years, but the damage and leaning guardrails worsened with the excessive rain last summer. This shift in soil also caused the dam face to begin sloughing off.

The project consists of these repairs:

-Additional riprap, dropping large rocks about every 50 feet along the lake banks to stop erosion on the lakeside of the dam
-Geo Web soil-stabilization material, re-vegetation and drainage system on the dam face, preventing future soil erosion and sloughing
-New 42-inch high cable guardrail across the dam, meeting current safety standards
-Repaving of the road across the dam

The dam is in no danger, and these maintenance repairs will ensure its integrity and prevent further deterioration.

“We realize the road closing will inconvenience the citizens who enjoy walking, biking or fishing on the north side of Lake Hefner,” said Marsha Slaughter, Utilities Department director. “We looked for ways to avoid closing the trail during the project, but the road is too narrow to safely allow construction and recreational activity.”

Joe Kimball
01-09-2008, 12:05 PM
Thanks for passing that on!

I wonder if there is a detour in the works?

01-09-2008, 01:25 PM
There is a sidewalk below the dam for running and biking.

01-10-2008, 02:20 PM
there is a sidewalk on Hefner, but in order to go all the way around the lake, you have to detour south from Hefner on to the dirt/gravel trail on the west side of the dam to meet up with the dam road/Britton... otherwise, you're just going to have to go out-and-back on the trails instead of the loop... which isn't a bad thing sometimes, since the dam road seems to get the brunt of the wind and gnats!

01-11-2008, 08:08 AM
Namellac - thanks for posting the "offficial" repair announcement.

We started working with the water department to get the word out to local bike shops, running and biking clubs, etc. at the beginning of December, and of course, also sent the information out via wide release.

Of course, that hasn't stopped folks from trying.

I would recommend at this time that people avoid the area at all costs as it is a construction zone. Additionally, when contractors began work, they discovered there was actually more damage from erosion than was originally thought and parts of the road/sidewalk may be hazardous until they are repaired.

I'd take the opportunity to discover and ride on some of our newly-opened trails, including Overholser, and/or go ride the 13 miles of trails at the Oklahoma River.

01-11-2008, 09:52 PM
I am willing to bet that the lake road be permanantly closed to motor vehicle traffic after the construction is complete.

01-18-2008, 04:45 PM
Hello everyone,

I was checking to see if anyone knows what the City will do with all the dirt they are dumping below the dam?? Just curious, as my house backs up to the dam and my pool had dirt in it, probably from the wind.


Joe Kimball
03-25-2008, 01:46 PM
OP here---I was wondering if anyone knew as to how progress is going with the dam, and if in fact the dam road will be closed to motor vehicles?

Count me among those who misses the scenic view the dam provides, as well as the challenge of the prevailing winds....

03-25-2008, 02:42 PM
From what I understand, the project is on track to be completed in June, and the dam WILL remain open to motor vehicles once everything is complete. In fact, part of the project includes installation of a new vehicular safety barricade along the north side of the dam road. It will continue to remain closed to ALL pedestrian and vehicle traffic (including bikers and skaters) until all construction is finished.

Project completeion, as with any project, is dependent upon our wonderful Oklahoma weather. If it stays like it is today, things should run smoothly. If we start to encounter last year's rains again, well.....?

06-03-2008, 10:29 AM
What's the latest on when this will get finished. I drive by there almost daily and rarely see anyone working.

06-03-2008, 10:45 AM
I heard on the news the other night by July 1st.

Joe Kimball
06-03-2008, 11:41 AM
When I passed by the other day, I noticed the Geo Web was only installed on the very top of the dam face. This is much less than I figured would be installed, though it makes sense. In any case, it appeared to be almost finished.

The asphalt itself has that worn and weathered look characteristic of deserted roads. Will the dam road be repaved?

06-03-2008, 01:32 PM
I heard on the news the other night by July 1st.
hey, that's my birthday!

06-19-2008, 02:29 PM
Saw at least 10 dumptrucks up on the damn today. Looks like they are laying asphalt!

06-25-2008, 09:23 AM
Hopefully it will be soon.

Does anyone know anything about when the bike trail at Hefner will connect with Overholser?

06-25-2008, 11:40 AM
There is already a trail that connects hefner to overholser, but you have to ride on Wilshire from expressway to rockwell

someone on a bike forum I read said that they talked to some working and the dam road should be done within 2 weeks barring any weather dealys

06-25-2008, 03:31 PM
Having not seen this thread when I posted mine that contains other information involving all planned trails for the OKC area, please refer to this link for more detail that is up to date as of when I posted it:

Joe Kimball
06-25-2008, 10:17 PM
Excellent news. I'm also glad to hear of the planned improvement of the Wilshire portion of the trail; most of that street's construction is from its days as a country road, I'm certain.

The bridge is something to look forward to. It will add a great deal of quality to a trail that is otherwise a mere glorified sidewalk. Now if we could just get those cars at the intersections of the neighborhoods along MacArthur to stop behind the crosswalk, thereby leaving the trail clear.... :)

07-09-2008, 11:38 AM
I saw one person riding yesterday, but I think it's still closed. Anyone know for sure?

07-09-2008, 06:47 PM
I rode the trails yesterday from just before 6pm thru 7pm and passed plenty of other riders (20+). It's no biggie but yes, the dam road is still closed. They are also actually repaving the parking lot at the east end of the dam road as well.

07-09-2008, 06:53 PM
Grand Reopening is Friday at 9 a.m. They'll officially reopen to the public at that time with a ribbon cutting ceremony. Several local bike and running groups have been invited. Press release went out today.