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Reply to Update on detour between Rocheport and New Franklin

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Reply to Update on detour between Rocheport and New Franklin
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BikerBoy from Maryville, IL on 6/8/2020 3:28:31 PM:
Today I talked to MO State Parks regional coordinator. She said that the old Salt Creek bridge is irreparable, and there are no immediate plans to start replacement (and it is going to be expensive). The State budget starts on July 1st, and she did not know if funds had been allocated for replacement. If budget is not approved, then there is little to no chance of the bridge being replaced in the next year. MO State Parks wants the trail re-opened as quickly as possible. This weekend I drove the "official" detour and another mostly gravel road detour that was suggested in the forum. I would definitely advise against the mostly gravel detour. These are poorly maintained country roads. They were muddy, hilly and with limited view. The unofficial detour adds about 4.5 miles and to me is no safer than riding Hwy 40. The official detour has you riding on Hwy 40 for about 5.5 miles. Given the traffic, speed and hills, it's better to limit the amount of time on Hwy 40. I suggest the following route, which minimizes the time on 40: If going East, continue on the Katy past the orange netting barricade at Pearson (where Katy intersects CR 467, next to the "Peppermill" silo). Ride exactly 3 miles and that will put you under the Hwy 40 bridge and at the site of the Salt Creek washout. The new levee will be in your way. Walk your bike up it and turn right onto the levee. Walk down the other side and onto the gravel service road. Then turn right onto the shoulder of Hwy 40 and go up the bridge. Ride exactly 1.5 miles until you get to CR 440. Turn right. This road is still a little rough, but you will only be on it for 1.45 miles. Then turn right onto US 240, which does not have a lot of traffic. Ride 240 down to the Katy, about 2/3 mile. The reason I like this route better is that it keeps you off of Hwy 40 more (only 1.5 miles versus 5.5). When riding Hwy 40, I would strongly suggest that the rider with the brightest colored shirt should be the last in line, or that you have a flashing taillight. There is a shoulder, but it has rumble strips, so that makes it almost useless. You may consider walking your bikes up the Hwy 40 bridge or even the whole way, so you could bail if some driver is not paying attention. The walk on 40 should take about 30 minutes, whereas riding would be less than 10 minutes.

Jharte from Kansas City on 6/8/2020 6:04:26 PM:
BikerBoy from Maryville, thank you for the update. I have ridden that detour to get to Rocheport. When I rode it, traffic was heavy and fast moving. I'm a seasoned tourer/bikepacker and agree with you, a better plan needs to be in place instead of attempting this. Some folks have said during the day or Sunday afternoon is better. Maybe true. Even the local folks advise against riding the Hwy detour. Thank you also for the 'alternate' route/plan. I copied it and will take it with me on my next trip to Rocheport. Safe travels, my friend. Jharte

Shawn from KC on 6/9/2020 8:52:00 PM:
That detour is horrible, someone in Rocheport with a truck should advertise shuttle, or MO State Parks work on a better detour. Also the last bit of trail before the detour was 5 inch deep mud and then gravel. If you ride though the mud, and gravel, it end up so think you might break componants.

Jenny from OKC on 6/9/2020 9:46:08 PM:
BikerBoy thank you for your help. We are heading west and aren't from around here. Can you help us understand your directions backwards? Today we rode from Herman to Jefferson and it was difficult slow riding. Headwinds and soft sandy trail. After 3 flats and averaging less than 9mph,we got off the trail and opted for Highway 94. We have a lot of experience and the traffic wasn't bad. The shoulder is small and the rumble strip takes up most of it, but overall drivers are respectful and allow a wide berth. (we were honked at 3 times. Ugh. Scares me every time)

BikerBoy from Maryville, IL on 6/10/2020 8:11:07 AM:
No problem, Jenny. Heading West from the Rocheport trailhead: (If this is your first time in Rocheport, be sure to ride the extra 1/2 mile west to see the tunnel.) Ride west from the trailhead to Central Street (aka Hwy 240). Turn right onto Central and go 2/3 mile up (past Abigal's; across the Moniteau Creek bridge, etc.). Turn left onto County Road 440 (note that if there has been rain, you may need to skip 440 and continue on to Hwy 40). Ride on CR440 for 1.5 miles to Hwy 40. Turn left onto Hwy 40 and ride 1.45 miles until you get to the bottom of the bridge and hill. Cross Hwy 40 to the left (to the south side) and onto the gravel road. Left on the gravel road and then walk your bikes up the levee. Go under the bridge and then left down the levee and onto the trail. This direction is a little easier because you are mostly riding down the bluff on Hwy 40. Safe riding!

BikerBoy from Maryville, IL on 6/29/2020 8:57:49 AM:
The MO state rep for the area is Chuck Basye. I got in touch with his office and one of his assistants contacted various agencies. Here is what he got back from MO DNR: "This bridge and portion of the trail is a project we have identified and is a part of our Capital Improvement(CI) budget plans. We are also looking at potential FEMA reimbursement to assist with costs. The project is still in the early phases of evaluation and design." So, still no definite timeline on replacement of the Salt Creek bridge. The assistant also checked into the replacement of the Hwy bridge over that same site. MODOT said it is currently scheduled to start replacement at the end of 2021. I am sure that replacement will require the trail to be closed for months (hopefully during the winter). And of course, there will likely be no detour on Hwy 40 at that time.

Bill in Houston from Houston on 6/29/2020 2:41:35 PM:
Thanks for the update, BikerBoy.

Triker Troy from Monroe City Mo on 6/30/2020 1:32:14 AM:
Going west to east..My way would be to cross the little walkway bridge (at the baracade) that leads to the Davisdale parking lot. Cross straight across Hwy 40 to gravel road and go left.. The road will fork. Stay on gravel to the right ( Missouri Conservation Road) and walk up the levee.. Cross the little creek (usually only ankle deep).. Once you cross the creek you will see the trail to your left.. Easy Peasy.

otto44 from Waterville, NY on 6/30/2020 2:18:18 PM:
Thank you all for the helpful alternatives. Plan to do an end to end ride in a few weeks and knowing the safer ways is helpful. Please keep posting updates, those of you able to ride the Katy on a regular basis.

Happy Biker from Dunnellon, Florida on 7/4/2020 8:32:33 PM:
Triker Troy, I'll be biking east to west later in the summer, can you give your directions in reverse?

Triker Troy from Monroe City Mo on 7/5/2020 11:02:29 AM:
Happy Biker,, going East to West.. Once you pass thru the Rocheport tunnel you will ride approx. 2.5 miles then you will come to the barricade.. You will see the washed out trail bridge. If you look to the left there is a gate (gate was on ground last time i was there).go thru gate and cross the creek and go up the levee and down on other side. Ride up the gravel and cross straight across Hwy 40 into Davisdale parking area. On the far side of the parking lot is a little pedestrian bridge that will take you to the trail and you will turn left onto the trail that leads to New Franklin.

Tom from Tucson on 7/5/2020 11:43:54 AM:
Just gotta ask, if this route is so easy and obvious, why is this the first time anybody has mentioned it?Are there any trespass concerns? Also, how difficult is walking through the creek during low water? What is the condition of the trail from Salt Creek to the tunnel? Thanks for the information. We don’t want to do the suggested bypass on 40 if possible. Last year we shuttled around.