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Friday, April 03, 2009

Work to begin on new Katy Trail segment

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon on Friday announced that work will begin later this month on linking the Kansas City area to the Katy Trail State Park, The Associated Press reports.

The 46-mile Rock Island Trail-Katy Connector will run 42 miles from Pleasant Hill, 35 miles southeast of Kansas City, to Windsor, where it joins the main 225-mile trail.

That means that cyclists will be able to ride on a trail all the way from the Kansas City metro area to the St. Louis metro area, or vice versa. The trail now ends in St. Charles

The new trail is being paid for with $18 million from a settlement the state reached last year with St. Louis-based utility AmerenUE over the December 2005 collapse of the Taum Sauk reservoir in southeast Missouri, AP reported. Ameren also agreed to let the state use its easement along the old Rock Island railroad for the trail.

Brent Hugh, executive director of the Missouri Bicycle Federation, says the long-term goal is to tie the Katy Trail to other trail systems in Illinois and Nebraska. "We could literally be looking at an 800-mile network of trails through five states, and the Katy Trail is the backbone of it," he told AP.

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