Phase Two of Rock Island Trail on schedule

Published on July 13, 2020

Rock Island Trail construction

Starting early next year, sports fans can make the hike along the Rock Island Trail from Lee’s Summit to the Truman Sports Complex to catch a game if they would like.

According to Brian Nowotny, Parks + Rec Deputy Director of Operations, Phase Two of the Rock Island Trail is proceeding on schedule.

“Subject to good weather, the project should be completed in early 2021,” he said.

The second phase of the project began in July of 2019 and encompasses a more than seven mile extension of the trail, from Brickyard Road in Kansas City, near the intersection of 350 and Nolan Road, through Raytown and all of the way north to the Truman Sports Complex.

Current work on the project includes clearing, grading, building retaining walls, the setting of bridges and trail paving.

The new section of the trail will include trailheads at Truman Sports Complex, Downtown Raytown and Woodson Road. There will also be an unofficial trailhead at the Raytown Chamber of Commerce which was built by the Chamber. Trailheads will include historical signage to tell the story of the old railroad and its impact on the community. The Raytown trailhead will also have an old “bumping post”, a relic left behind by the old railroad.

New pedestrian bridges will be placed from the sports complex to 63rd Street. The old bridges will be available to Kansas City Area Transportation Authority for their transit project. Existing bridges will be used south of 63rd with the exception of the Wildwood Bridge, because that bridge has deteriorated beyond a useful life.

The trail will be off of the railbed from the sports complex to Woodson by at least 25 feet and mainly on the railbed south of Woodson. This is due to KCATA’s anticipated transit project.

The 6.4 mile first phase of the trail was completed in June 2019. It starts at Brickyard Road and travels south through Lee’s Summit to Jefferson Street. When phase two is finished it will complete the 13.5 mile trail.

Rock Island Project Manager Matt Davis said the long term goal is to connect the Rock Island Trail to the 240 mile long Katy trail.

There is an eight mile gap between the two trails he said. “We have funding for an additional 1.3 miles that will be constructed during 2021-2022. We will apply for federal funding for 2023-2024, that would get us another 1.5 miles and into Greenwood. We will likely continue to take this phased, multi-year approach as funding is our biggest challenge.”