Support grows for Katy Trail connection to Kansas City

Statewide support for connecting the Katy Trail to Kansas City is really starting to coalesce. A recent AP article appeared in newspapers across the state:
Quad-state trail vision

For 225 miles, the Katy Trail State Park winds past sweeping Missouri River bluffs, vast prairies and postcard-ready small towns. Then, abruptly, it ends here in an unceremonious thud. . . .

Outdoor enthusiasts have long sought a 75-mile trail extension into Kansas City along an unused rail bed owned by two utilities. Now, with Gov. Matt Blunt calling on AmerenUE to consider giving up its rights to the dormant Rock Island corridor to compensate for unrelated damage from a hydroelectric plant spill, they hope the project finally becomes a reality.

“It makes a lot of sense to connect the two major metropolitan areas of the state to the trail,” said Brent Hugh, president of the Missouri Bike Federation.

“The thing that’s been missing is high-level support,” said Hugh, a Raytown resident whose home abuts the unused Rock Island corridor. “That’s what made the Katy Trail come together in the first place.” . . .

While Ameren is paying to clean up the flooded park, the Republican governor suggested that the utility, a subsidiary of St. Louis-based Ameren Corp., donate the Rock Island rail bed as well as land it owns adjacent to the damaged state park.

The utility has not responded to that request, but the governor’s interest in such a deal hasn’t wavered, a Blunt spokesman said.
Public interest in this project, and particularly the letters and emails you all have sent to the Missouri DNR and Ameren in support of this project, have played a major part in keeping it alive.

In two minutes you can register your support for a complete Katy Trail by sending an email to state officials and Ameren.

Meanwhile, because of contention between Gov. Matt Blunt and Attorney General Jay Nixon, who both of whom are positioning themselves to run in the next election for Missouri Governor, both the Katy Trail extension to Kansas City and the Boonville Bridge issue have become very politicized.