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Katy Trail Rock Island Spur Comments
Bridge at Jefferson City


What's the best route if one wanted to cross the bridge from north to south en route from the trailhead to the train station?
posted Jul 20 2004 10:06AM - R

I don't know if it is the best, but I'll describe my experience. I took the spur trail from the N. Jefferson Trailhead until it became obvious that it would dead end at a freeway embankment. So I backtracked a short distance and then turned left onto a small road, and then after about 1/4 mile took the first left. After another 1/4 mile I came to an overpass and freeway entrance just before the bridge. Here you have 2 choices.

1. Turn right onto the bridge and ride in the right most of 3 southbound lanes until taking the exit just after the bridge. Turning left takes you to the capital. I believe Amtrak is just below the capital. I took this option; and except for the traffic noise after the quiet of the Katy Trail, it was not too bad.

2. Continue on the overpass until reaching the exit ramp on the other side of the freeway. Turn right onto the exit ramp and ride against traffic until you come to a bike lane on the northbound side of the bridge. On the otherside of the bridge exit against traffic on the entrance ramp. Turn left towards the capital at the end of the entrance ramp.

The problem is that there is a bike lane on only the northbound side of the bridge; and there is no good way to get on and off it in the south bound direction. I can't remember exactly; but I believe there were shoulders on the entrance and exit ramps that made riding against traffic not quite as bad as it sounds. Rumor has it that the highway department forgot to put a bike land on the south side.
posted Sep 23 2004 1:21PM - Paul Marlin, Quincy, Il

I used the phone at the City Pavilion on the Katy Spur to call a taxi. The taxi came with a bike rack and took us directly to the Amtrak station for I think $10 to $15. Much better than taking your life into your hands on the bridge. I helped to have the taxi phone number in advance.
posted Jun 4 2005 7:15PM - John K, Webster Groves, MO

We just crossed the bridge last week. Although it's a bit unnerving to have cars whizzing next to you at high speed, nonetheless there's a generous bike lane. Bikes going both directions share the lane, but we were the only cyclists. Crossing this bridge was a non-event, not to worry.
posted Jun 8 2005 3:15PM - Marty, Los Gatos, California

We used the cab service again last week. The phone number is 573-636-7101 and the cost was $10. They will pick you up at either the trail head or City Pavilion.

The City Pavilion, a short distance south on the Katy Trail Spur, has running water and flush toilets!!!
posted Jul 3 2005 11:51AM - John K, Webster Groves, MO

I was charged an extra $10 by checker cab for the bike rack usage. Not a big deal but it was still a surprise. Ask first.
posted Oct 1 2007 5:49PM - Canyoncamper, Grand Junction, CO

We also once had the experience that we had arranged for one cab to carry 4 people and 4 bikes, and they sent 2, saying their big vehicle was unavailable. Again, not that big a deal, but we weren't expecting to pay for 2 cab fares.
posted Oct 11 2007 11:57AM - ET, Columbia, MO

My wife and I (we are both old guys) just did it. I had arrived with an aerial photo showing how to get there, really helpful. We went on the bike trail, against traffic. Traffic moves fast and close, but the bike trail is about 6 feet wide so it is not really dangerous. Our only problem was that the bike trail part was littered with all sorts of stuff, some really big, but lots of it just rocks that you really don't want to hit under the circumstances. Combined with a strong headwind and light rain it made the trip over a challenge. The next morning with the wind still from the South we didn't even need to pedal across, the bridge was shorter and the debris not so bad (or so it seemed).
posted Oct 22 2007 2:38PM - tomdet, Minneapolis, MN

My wife and I just road from Sedalia to Kirkwood Amtrak last week, with an included stop over in Jefferson City. Like some others, we road against traffic over the bridge. The shoulder is quite wide and relatively safe -- certainly safer than riding in downtown rush hour traffic in Seattle, which we do often -- but it STILL is fundamentally unsafe to ride against traffic on a road. Our innkeeper said he had asked the State why they hadn't added a shoulder on both sides and was told "We couldn't," with no explanation why. The new Hermann bridge is great. The best I've ever been on for cycling. (We were able to attend the dedication ceremony while we were there.)
posted Oct 23 2007 7:49PM - Larry Erickson, Seattle, WA

Although many people do it or have done it, myself included, the intent of the bike lane is for north bound bike traffic. And, by Missouri state law it is unlawfull to ride against the traffic flow.

There is currently an effort being made in the Jefferson City community to secure the money to build a bike/pedestrian lane for the southbound traffic.
posted Oct 23 2007 9:43PM - Trek Biker

We walked our bikes across the bridge last week, and can report that while it's doable, it's also extremely stressful and unenjoyable. It added a lot of unnecessary anxiety after a beautiful, peaceful day of cycling.

So we called a taxi the next morning to get back to the trail, rather than start our day off in such an unpleasant way. Definitely a good move on our part, although we had to wait 90 minutes for them to put the bike rack on the taxi (we were the first cyclists they had this year). They recommend giving them a heads up if you intend to use them, as they only have one vehicle with a bike rack.

By the way, thanks to Paul Marlin for the directions he provided in this forum. We printed them before our trip, and used them to easily navigate the maze of ramps and passes to get to the bridge. But there's no way we'd ever attempt his option #1. It was unpleasant enough being on the northbound side of the bridge, even with the bike lane.
posted Apr 3 2008 7:42PM - Carol Smith, Warrensburg, MO

Over Memorial Day weekend I crossed the bridge going south, in the south bound lanes. It was not fun. Besides risking getting hit by a car, the wall is so low I could fall off my bike over it into the river. I wasn't aware there was a should lane on the northbound lanes or I would have looked for it.
posted May 28 2008 7:59PM - ka3751, saint louis

If you are interested in reading about future plans,check out www.newstribune.com (the local newspaper) and do a search with (pedestrian bridge). Meanwhile phase I, the Lewis & Clark Trailhead Plaza will be dedicated on Wednesday, June 4. Come on down around 5:30 or 6 PM.
Phase II is "Taking the Katy to the Capitol." It too is coming, but the devil is in the details.
posted May 29 2008 5:44PM - RiverBill0708, Jefferson City

I always stay in Hartsburg, just 10 mile from Jeff, just to avoid the bridge. Can get a room right on the trail. The 10 miles are easy to make up, compared to messing with the bridge both in the evening and morning. Probably less than 6 miles difference if you count the distance from the Jeff trail head into town and back.
posted May 30 2008 6:19PM - Anonymous

Tags: Jefferson City, Hartsburg, Sedalia, Hermann, Checker Cab, Water, Route Suggestions, Amtrak, Weather, Hiking, Running Modify Tags
         




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