Over 100 miles of Katy Trail closed to flooding

From Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation, submitted by Brent Hugh:

Katy Trail Flooding at Good Woman Creek (MO State Parks)

Katy Trail Flooding at Good Woman Creek (MO State Parks)

According to the Missouri State Parks Current Flooding Conditions page, over 100 miles of the Katy Trail is currently closed due to flooding along the Missouri River. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch recently reported on the devastating impact the loss of business is having on the Katy Trail businesses and communities.

Many of those businesses depend on Katy Trail customers, with many at 50% or even more of their business coming from Katy Trail users.

(If you're planning a trail visit or vacation this year, keep in mind that over 180 miles of the Katy Trail and connected Rock Island Trail are still open and completely unflooded!  Some sections on the eastern portion are still open, and the entire stretch of Katy/Rock Island from Booneville west is completely unaffected.  Because the businesses and communities there open and looking for business!)

A few takeaways from the Post-Dispatch article:

  • The Katy Trail really does have a dramatic positive effect on local businesses and communities along the trail.  Many businesses are reporting a 50% drop in business, with trail users unable to access the trail.
     

  • As unfortunate as the flooding is for these businesses, it also provides a good test case to show the impact of trail users on local economy, particularly in rural Missouri. For example: Is the Rock *Island Trail really going to have a strong positive effect on Rock Island communities? This information gives a strong yes answer to that question.
     

  • If you're planning a Katy Trail trip this summer, be aware that much of the trail along the Missouri River is flooded. Even when floods recede, repairing damage could take some time.  In 1993, over 100 miles of the Katy had to be re-built, and the situation looks similar in 2019
     

  • The annual Katy Trail ride has been cancelled as well--another hit to the affected communities and businesses.
     

  • Some riders are still attempting the route, using detour roads. But it is difficult, with many detour roads also flooded, and others not friendly for bicycling.
     

  • On the other hand—remember that flooding is affecting portions of the trail along the Missouri River only. From Boonville on west, the Katy leaves the Missouri River and is not affected by river flooding.  The entire Rock Island Spur portion of the Katy (47 miles from the Katy at Windsor to Pleasant Hill) is open and not affected by Missouri River flooding.
     

  • Please keep our flood-damaged communities and businesses in mind and do what you can to help. The floods really are devasting for so many communities, farms, and businesses in the midwest and across Missouri this year.  The affects on the Katy and nearby communities are just a small part of the flood devastation.
     

From the Post-Dispatch article:

“It was pretty much the worst Memorial Day ever,” said Jamie Ciszek, manager of Augusta Brew Haus, a trailside pub on the western edge of St. Charles County where bikers often stop for a drink and a burger as they traverse the crushed-gravel path.

To the west, Rick Hockemeyer sounded a similar note about the flood’s effect on business at his Mokane Market in southern Callaway County.

“It’s killing it. We’re doing half the amount of business,” Hockemeyer said. . . .

Back across the river, the Red Wheel Bike Shop has temporarily closed because of flooding in downtown Jefferson City.

“The river has won this round. The recent crest has closed West Main and has taken over our parking lot making it almost impossible to get to the store,” the shop said in a Facebook post last week. “This is only a temporary setback and we plan to open back up as soon as possible.”

Read the original article on Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation’s website here.

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