Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders, the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) and other local partners have announced a historic partnership designed to fund acquisition of the final piece of a statewide trail system that has been decades in the works: The 17.7-mile section of the Rock Island Trail that brings the trail into the heart of the Kansas City metro area.

Missouri Bicycle & Pedestrian Federation Executive Director Brent Hugh responded to this historic announcement:

“We are thrilled to see the Katy and Rock Island Trail systems connected to the heart of Kansas City. For more than two decades, we have been working to build support to connect the state’s trail system across the state from state line to state line and to connect the St. Louis and Kansas City metro areas to the system.”

The section is the final and most difficult link that will bring the trail to the heart of the Kansas City area. It is a vital link in the potential 450-mile Katy-Rock Island trail loop across the state. It is also a key section of the planned quad-state trail system, which will connect more than 1,000 miles of trails across Missouri, Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska.

Hugh thanked Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders for having the vision to lead the effort to secure the funding and build the trail, the leaders and staff of cities and counties along the trail who are supporting and helping to fund the effort, and the many agencies and organizations that have worked over a period of decades to make the trail a reality.

“Today is a day to celebrate a major achievement in bringing the trail to the Kansas City region and to look forward to the connections and benefits the trail will bring to our communities,” said Hugh.