Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Recon The Route: Part 2

Recon vehicle
Note: I'll have results from the lubrication poll I posted yesterday up Thursday. 

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about reconning my soon to be new commuter route to work. I went back this past weekend to check on the progress. I should note that there isn't really any good 'official' information available as to exactly what is going on, so these observation rides help fill in the blanks where that official word is lacking. 

I also need to note that this part I am checking on of the route is only the first mile or so of my commute. The main bit will remain the same. What has been going on is that I have had to 'detour' through a part of downtown Waterloo, which is out of my way, and when the new bit gets cleared up, I can return to a more direct way toward work. 

So, I grabbed the Snow Dog, my 2011 Salsa Cycles Mukluk, and headed on over to see what, if any, progress had been made since my last visit earlier this month. The first order of business was to 'sneak in' the back way to the area I wanted to see via the East dike of the Black Hawk Creek and follow it downstream to where it meets University Avenue. From there I observed the new bike pathway over the old bridge over the Black Hawk Creek. Then on toward the intersection of Falls Avenue and the end of the Sergeant Road Trail, via the tunnel underneath University Avenue. 

Once I observed this area I was done with recon, but not my ride, as I went on and hit up some alleys, bigger hills in Waterloo, and the nearby cemetery where I like to run every 'road' they have in there for kicks. But this post isn't about the rest of my ride. It's about what's happening along University Avenue down near my abode. So, on with the pics!

Some of the fancy-pants railing work going up along the new bike path. This used to be a lane on University Avenue.

The new tunnel under University Avenue. My son predicts that this will get all graffitteed up once it is opened.

Some important improvements have been made here since I last viewed this area.

So my biggest takeaway this time is that my fears that there was no drainage plan for the North side of University Avenue was put to rest after this visit. Clearly there is a plan. Those circled grates are drain-off areas for the rain water and snow melt, but whether or not this is connected to a storm sewer or just a transferal to the South side of the trail is not known to me. The fact that something was done is monumental though. We'll see in the future how effective this 'plan' is. 

The arrows describe roughly the bike path as it will come off the North tunnel opening and veer Left as one rides toward the highway above. This will take the bike path back to its original, more or less, path along the dead end of what was Falls Avenue. Then the bike path will turn Right/North and go on its original path under the expressway. Dead center on the upper edge of this image is the e3xpressway and that sloping line that meets it from the right is the horizon line of University Avenue. 

So, as you can see, it is going to be awhile before I can cut through this area. I'll either use the tunnel, go to Falls Avenue, or I may stay on the South side, use the new, wide bike path, go over the Black Hawk, and cross University Avenue at the round-a-bout with Fletcher Avenue and then onward to my normal commute. 

For now I'll continue on the "long route". It's okay. I get to ride my bicycle more!

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