Flooding has turned sections the once-serene Maple City Trail into a tangled mess of asphalt, concrete, and ripped up earth.
As the Oswegatchie River begins to recede after nearly two weeks of flooding, Ogdensburg officials are starting to survey the trails damage, and said Tuesday a long road of repairs lies ahead.
Ogdensburg Department of Public Works Supervisor Gregg E. Harland said its too early to have an estimate for how much it will cost to repair the damage, but repairing the trail will include filling in eroded ground, fixing the concrete retaining wall and repaving a large section of the trail.
The most severely impacted part of the trail is located between the Lake Street Pedestrian Bridge and the Pump House. City Manager John M. Pinkerton said that section will remained closed to the public until the city can repair it.
Its going to be a while, he said. This is nothing to mess with.
Mr. Pinkerton said even parts of the trail that look untouched may be dangerous due to erosion of the underlying ground.
They could easily slide into the river, Mr. Pinkerton said of people walking on the trail. Its all going to give way sooner or later.
Mr. Harland said that with the water levels still too high for a real inspection, his department cant tell how much of the concrete retaining wall has been damaged. The wall is in some places clearly warped.
Currently the trail between the pedestrian bridge and the Pump House is closed off, and Ogdensburg police are patrolling the area to ticket trespassers.
The trail has been closed due to safety concerns since the weekend of April 12. Police have been ticketing trespassers since April 15.
Mr. Pinkerton said the city will look for state and federal grant funding to help repair the trail as soon as officials can ascertain the extent of the damage.