Today Missouri government officials announced a settlement with the Ameren utility company over the collapse of the Taum Sauk dam and reservoir in central Missouri. One part of the much larger settlement includes the extension of Katy Trail State Park to the KC metro area. This is a momentous development in a long struggle to connect the trail across the full width of the state.
Ameren will give the Department of Natural Resources a lease to 46 miles of the unused Rock Island rail line between Windsor and Pleasant Hill, KC’s most southeasterly suburb. The company will also give the state $18 million for construction of the new trail. Unlike the existing Katy Trail on the old rail bed, this extension will be a new trail alongside railroad.
The rest of the Rock Island line between Pleasant Hill and the Truman Sports Complex is owned by the Union Pacific railroad, and plans are already underway for putting a trail along that segment. At the Sports Complex the trail will eventually connect to a new trail along the Blue River, that will allow for onward connections to Downtown via the Missouri River and to the Trolley Track Trail via the Brush Creek trail.
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