Yes, we’ve seen the notice alerting us to 80 days of closure on the Jamaica North Trail From Old Cheney to S. 14th St. There are alternatives to get around it, but they are not appropriate for most children or very inexperienced riders, and not officially sanctioned. If you want to get around the closure, you will have to be inventive and explore the adjacent neighborhoods to find your favorite route through to the south, or up to the north.
Taking the Rock Island trail to Pine Lake works, but if you don’t like to ride from there on S. 14th to Yankee Hill, or on the sidewalk, you can take the street a block east. At Yankee Hill you will have to take S.14th to where the trail crosses, about 1/4 mile to the south. Disclaimer: there is little to no shoulder.
Old Cheney is closed to through traffic from Warlick through the park to First St., but open to local traffic between the railroad tracks and Warlick. It is possible to come down the Jamaica from the north to the closure then go through the neighborhood south of Old Cheney, across Warlick if it isn’t too busy, through Ruskin Place, then up the access path onto the Rock Island. Or you can head west on Old Cheney from First St. on the west side of Wilderness Park, cross highway 77 and take Folsom south, making your way across Denton Road, then to First St. south. This is a gravel road. From here you could take Rokeby back to 14th St. I never recommend taking Saltillo. https://www.singletracks.com/bike-trails/wilderness-park/ shows a good map of the area.
Another option is to sharpen your mountain biking skills and take the singletrack through the park. The latter option may require some trial and error, or a park map like the one mentioned above, or the GPTN map available at most bike shops so that you can avoid coming out onto the closed Jamaica. You also would need an appropriate bike; no skinny tires. If you pick up the Jamaica North where it crosses at S.14th St., you can check out the new bridge north of Saltillo just off the trail. The heavy machinery is gone. The park has yet to be restored around it, but the bridge is open, beckoning you to explore the trail on the other side.
Soon we will be able to avoid all this re-routing and take the new connector bridge, but in the meantime, you’ll either have to avoid the area, haul your bike, or be inventive and go around it. Having to take different routes does force us to explore areas we might not be familiar with, so use this opportunity to do so if you like, but stay safe and avoid riding on major arterials. Consult maps, ride through the neighborhoods, you may find your next favorite route, or at least have a back-up.