FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 24, 2020
Contact: Marshanna Smith
Jackson County Executive announces construction restart on second phase of Rock Island Trail as agreement with Union Pacific is finalized
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr. is announcing today that Jackson County has entered into a trail use agreement with Union Pacific Railroad (UP), concluding the process commonly known as “railbanking.” This action allows the County to move forward with construction of the second phase of the Rock Island Trail project.
The finalized agreement has been submitted to the Surface Transportation Board (STB), who one month ago issued its decision permitting the County and UP to move forward with the railbanking process. Construction crews are expected to resume work on the northern section of the Rock Island Trail this week.
“I am excited for our team to get to work on building this amazing trail that will provide opportunities for family recreation, healthy living and economic development,” said Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr. “I want to thank our partners at Union Pacific and KCATA, as well as my colleagues on the County Legislature for their support and commitment to turning this inactive rail corridor into a great public amenity that our community will enjoy for generations to come.”
In June 2019, Jackson County officially opened the southern section of the Rock Island Trail. This section of trail is 6.4 miles and stretches from Jefferson Street, west of MO-291 in Lee’s Summit, to Brickyard Road, south of Blue Parkway in Kansas City. Improvements included a new surface for walking and biking, as well as the rehabilitation and preservation of existing bridges at 3rd Street, the Little Blue River and historic Vale Tunnel. When completed, the 7.1-mile northern section of the Rock Island Trail will extend the trail to the Truman Sports Complex.
Jackson County acquired the 17.7-mile Rock Island Railroad Corridor in May 2016 in partnership with the KCATA to preserve the corridor for multi-modal transportation opportunities.