Missouri House & Senate introduce bills to support proposed Rock Island Trail | stltoday.com

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The Missouri House on Tuesday endorsed the creation of a private endowment that would help fund a proposed 144-mile bike trail across the state.

Ameren and the Department of Natural Resources are negotiating the donation of a former rail line that an Ameren subsidiary owns, but the DNR has raised concerns about the cost of running what would be known as the Rock Island Trail.

The former rail line, stretching from Beaufort in Franklin County to Windsor in western Missouri, would resemble the Katy Trail, another former rail line popular with hikers and cyclists. The two trails would meet at Windsor.

MoBikeFed comment: The bills proposing the Rock Island State Park Endowment Fund have been proposed by Senator Mike Bernskoetter and Representative David Wood.

Both of them represent large areas of the proposed 144-mile Rock Island Trail State Park.

Both House and Senate versions of the bills have been heard in committee now, and both have passed out of committee by unanimous votes.

Now the bill has passed the full House as well. So it is moving forward quickly--but the Senate is always the slower and more difficult chamber to deal with.

Representatives of the Missouri Rock Island Trail, Inc, the Missouri Bicycle & Pedestrian Federation, Missouri State Parks, and several other supporting organizations testified at the hearings in favor of the bills.

Now it is a race against the calendar to see if the bill can be passed in he remaining few weeks of the legislative session.

These Rock Island Trail bills will be our major issue at our annual Bicycle and Pedestrian Day at the Capitol April 23rd.

Please consider joining us in Jefferson City April 23rd to let our elected leaders know how much citizen support is out there for the Rock Island Trail!


Major thanks to the sponsors and supporters of these bills in the legislature, and to State Parks leadership, for working towards creative solutions for making the statewide Rock Island Trail a reality.

More about the Rock Island Trail and MoRIT, the citizen-led organization working to preserve and develop the trail: