FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 21, 2020
Contact: Marshanna Smith
Rock Island Trail Update
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Today, the Jackson County Legislature approved Resolution 20350, authorizing Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr. to enter into a trail use agreement, on behalf of the County, with Union Pacific Railroad (UP). Once completed, this agreement will finalize the railbanking of the Rock Island Rail Corridor.
“Today is a great day for advocates of the Rock Island Trail. I would like to thank our partners in this project, most notably Union Pacific Railroad and KCATA,” said Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr. “While more work remains, today’s decision from the STB will allow us to move forward in turning this inactive railroad corridor into an amazing amenity for our community.”
The trail use agreement will be signed and submitted to the Surface Transportation Board (STB), who today issued its decision permitting the County and UP to move forward with the railbanking process. The exemption will be effective February 20, 2020.
Following today’s STB decision, the County and UP plan to enter into a trail use/rail banking agreement that will allow the County to move forward with construction of the Rock Island Trail project.
In June 2019, Jackson County officially opened the southern section of the Rock Island Trail. This section of trail is 6.4 miles and stretches from Jefferson Street, west of MO-291 in Lee’s Summit, to Brickyard Road, south of Blue Parkway in Kansas City. Improvements included a new surface for walking and biking, as well as the rehabilitation and preservation of existing bridges at 3rd Street, the Little Blue River and historic Vale Tunnel. When completed, the 7.1-mile northern section of the Rock Island Trail will extend the trail to the Truman Sports Complex.
Jackson County acquired the 17.7-mile Rock Island Railroad Corridor in May 2016, in partnership with the KCATA to preserve the corridor for multi-modal transportation opportunities.
A copy of Resolution 20350 and the STB’s decision are attached.