Location: Ottawa

Prairie Spirit Trail Bridge Reopens

During the 2007 floods, the bridge over Pottawatomie Creek, on the Prairie Spirit Trail was severely damaged, and that section of the trail was closed. Now, good news from trail manager Trent McCown:

We have reopened the section of trail between Richmond and Garnett for normal trail activities. This scenic section of the trail, which crosses the Pottawatomie Creek, has been closed since 2007 due to flood damage to the trail and to the Pottawatomie Bridge. Our repairs are not complete, as we still have some work to complete on the side slopes of the trail, but the trail surface has been repaired and the bridge has been repaired. The trail surface is in good shape and visitors can once again ride the trail between Garnett and Richmond without any detours.

Here are some pictures of the bridge:

Prairie Spirit Trail Bridge Reopens

Prairie Spirit Trail Bridge Reopens

The center span of the bridge has all-new steel girders and a concrete deck. Steel from the original railroad trestle is used on the end spans of the bridge, with railroad ties for the deck, topped with fine gravel screenings. The railings are new along the entire bridge.

It’s a beautiful structure, particularly the stonework on the piers and abutments.

With the re-opening of the Pottawatomie Creek bridge, the Prairie Spirit Trail is now whole, and can be ridden end-to-end, a total of about 51 miles. The trail ends at Ottawa in the north, and Iola in the south, and passes through the communities of Princeton, Richmond, Garnett, and Welda.

The trail will be split again next year, as KDOT begins a highway project in the Spring that will run through the entire summer. A section of trail south of Welda will be closed as the highway department replaces a bridge on US-169 highway, and trail traffic will be routes onto adjacent roads.

So ride it while you can, and enjoy the longest rail-trail in Kansas!

Read more from the Prairie Spirit Trail web site.

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About The Author

By Randy Rasa, editor/webmaster at Kansas Cyclist, the web's premier Kansas cycling information site, featuring authoritative guides to Kansas cycling clubs, bike shops, organized bike rides, touring, trails, and much more. [learn more]

One response to “Prairie Spirit Trail Bridge Reopens”

  1. Greg says:

    This sounds like fun. If we get a half decent day, I’ll have to make a road trip up that way and ride this trail.

    Thanks for the idea, Randy!