Amid much fanfare, public officials "cut the ribbon" opening the spectacularly rebuilt Route 52 causeway last week — in time for the busy summer tourist season.
But one eagerly anticipated lane of traffic remains under construction: the separated sidewalk that will carry bicycles and pedestrians across the bay on the 2.2-mile causeway.
The ribbon-cutting, however, did include a complement of cyclists making the ceremonial first crossing. They used the shoulder of the roadway — which will remain open to high-speed cyclists who would ultimately provide a hazard to the slower pedestrian and recreational traffic on the separated sidewalk.
The police chief confirmed that it is permitted, so we decided to give it a whirl. Having made the crossing exclusively by car over the course of a lifetime (with the exception of a few Trail of Two Cities runs), the idea seemed wildly compelling.
But the actual experience: less than ideal. Probably best left to the Spandex crowd.
We set out from Linwood on the rail trail that ends at Somers Mansion overlooking the new causeway. Check out the photos above for a description of the trip.
State Department of Transportation officials have no firm date for the opening of the separated bicycle/pedestrian lane, but DOT spokesperson Tim Greeley did say it should almost certainly be open before the new mid-causeway visitors center is completed.