Will old Rock Island rail line get new life as a trail? Missouri waits. | Tony Messenger | stltoday.com

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Ameren Missouri, which owns the 144-mile abandoned railway line, planned to donate the corridor and its right of way to the state, which would then create a second cross-state bike and pedestrian trail like the Katy Trail, built on the old Missouri-Kansas-Texas railway line, along the Missouri River.

“The new trail will bolster Missouri’s position as the nation’s premier hiking and biking destination — and strengthen local economies all along its path,” Nixon, a Democrat, said at the time.

But then politics, time and money intervened.

During his first year as governor of the state, Gov. Eric Greitens, a Republican, put on hold some of Nixon’s work to expand the state’s park system. Even as Ameren was removing rail ties and tracks from the old Rock Island line, Greitens was suggesting there might not be enough money in the state budget to complete the new trail. . . .

Of the more than 8,500 comments the state received when seeking input on the Rock Island proposal, an overwhelming number of them were positive, saying the trail was a “no-brainer” that would bring economic growth to rural Missouri and take advantage of the state’s growing national reputation as an outdoor recreation haven.

So Rosebud waits for its revival.

MoBikeFed comment: More about the Rock Island Trail here:

http://MoBikeFed.org/RockIsland

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