18 February 2013

The Huffman Connector

Monday, 18 February 2013

Today was a slog, riding my trail bike on the bikeway so I could explore the Huffman Connector.

 The bikeway in Eastwood Park has a rough layer of asphalt that stretches from the lagoon, east through the park, and under Harshman Road along the Mad River.
After the Mad River underpass, the rough asphalt layer climbs to the entrance to the Dayton Well Fields.
 The path is dug to an existing underpass of the railway, though the whole area is water logged from seepage from underneath Harshman Road. I suspect this will be a problem that requires further engineering to answer the wet conditions before applying underlayment and asphalt to the path.

The underpass was built in 1918, as attested by a date on the south approach. I guess that it was built by the railway company to allow higher speeds and eliminate infringement of auto traffic.

The connector work is in progress on the segment that closely parallels Springfield Pike and skirts the west and south edges of old Harshmanville. Almost the entire reach is in various stages from the Harshman Mansion to the railway underpass near the merge of Springfield Pike and Highway 444.

A few segments have a well-rolled rock underlayment, 
some segments have the top layers of dirt scraped away, other segments have a loose dressing of crushed rock, and others have a lightly compacted rock. The next coating of a rough asphalt will not be laid until all the path is at the same readiness.
The digging stops neatly at the boundary marker of Riverside, just a dozen feet from crossing into Greene County.

Inside Greene County, much detail work awaits final surveys and on-the-ground planning. Construction will include rerouting Springfield Pike into a two-lane underpass of the railway. The west arch of the underpass will be reserved for bike traffic, the east for auto.

After the railway underpass, the bikeway will curve into a 3-turn zig-zag down to an existing rough trail. This trail will be upgraded to bikeway standards, and it will climb Huffman Dam in another zig-zag.

Perhaps in late spring, the full routing from Eastwood Park to Huffman Dam will receive the final smooth coat.

Ride conditions
Temperature: 50 to 56.7°F at 13:57 to 16:09
Precipitation: none
Winds: 5 to 16 mph from the southwest
Clothing: Skinsuit, longsleeve undershirt, ankle socks, open-finger gloves
Bike: Mongoose MGX-D40 trail
Time: 02:12 for 18.6 miles
Heart rate: no data
Bikeway users: 13 cyclists, 23 pedestrians

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