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Northern Portion of Mill Creek Streamway Park Reopens for Use
POSTED: 11/21/2001
After being closed for more than three months for repairs, a portion of a popular hiking and biking trail is once again open for public use, Johnson County Park and Recreation District officials announced recently.

A 1.5-mile portion of the Mill Creek Streamway Park's Gary L. Haller Trail stretching from Wilder Road in Shawnee North to Nelson Island in the Kansas River reopened on Friday, Nov. 16. This portion of the park was closed and fenced off in early August after an 80-foot section of the trail shifted three feet downward and out toward Mill Creek, creating public safety concerns. The closure effectively cut access to Nelson Island, the only publicly-accessible island in the Kansas River in the metropolitan area. At the time, it was anticipated this portion of the park will be closed at least three to six months.

JCPRD Land Acquisition Manager Bill Maasen said that following an engineering analysis of the trouble area and consideration of several potential remedies, park officials decided to go with a geotechnical solution.

"We utilized a layering of rock with geotechnical fabrics that add strength to the foundation of the trail," he said. "In addition, the whole thing is wrapped with fabric that doesn't allow material to pass out of this pouch. We think the problem was that materials were leaching out of the base, causing a void, followed by sinking. This seemed to be a reasonable solution and much cheaper than any of the others we looked at and a way to get the trail open again as soon as possible."

Maintenance crews will monitor this area over the winter for any further settling and plan to apply a final asphalt or concrete surface on the trail in the spring.

With this reopening, all 17 miles of the Gary L. Haller Trail are again available for public use. This includes the 15.5 miles of trail stretching south from the access point at 4731 Wilder Road to 119th and Northgate Road east of Woodland Avenue in Olathe. For more information, call (913) 438-7275 or (913) 831-3359.

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