MKT trail opening delayed

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COLUMBIA — The MKT trail did not reopen this weekend as scheduled due to an unexpected challenge in construction of the Flat Branch Sewer Relief Project. 

Construction fell behind schedule because the rock underneath the trail was much harder than expected said Erin Key, Engineering Manager for the Sanitary, Sewer and Storm Water Utilities.

"If you think about taking a hammer and hitting a rock, there are some rocks where you can hit it one time and the rock just breaks up completely. And there are other rocks where you have to hit it multiple times before it breaks off. It's the same thing with this construction and excavation the hammer that they're using to hit the rock they are having to hit it multiple times before they can excavate that rock out to put the sewer pipe in," Keys said.

However, despite the delay they have a new goal of when this portion of the trail will open. 

"We have one more trail crossing the contractor needs to complete and they hope to complete that next week depending on the weather. So we hope to have the trail open by next weekend by October 21st," Keys said.

She said the trail closure was due to safety concerns.

"They've got heavy trucks full of rocks, full of equipment materials that are running next to the trail and it's just really a safety concern for citizens. You don't want those two to interact because bad things can happen," Keys said.

The whole project is scheduled to be completed mid-January of 2017. The next leg of construction will take place between University Property and Providence road, Keys said.