Rock Island Corridor and Katy Trail Connection

Updated 6/1/2019:
Phase 1 is now open!
Phase 2 starts construction this summer and is projected to open in late 2020 or early 2021.

Connecting Kansas City to the Katy Trail State Park is part of BikeWalkKC’s 10 Year Vision for Greater Kansas City. We are working with many public and private stakeholders to achieve the western end of the vision to extend the Katy Trail from border to border across Missouri.

The Katy to KC Connection is made up of multiple trail segments and connections via the MetroGreen trail network.

  1. 2016: Windsor to Pleasant Hill – Completed
  2. 2019: South Lee’s Summit to 350 Hwy
  3. 2020-2021: 350 Hwy to Truman Sports Complex
  4. Future connections to be determined
    • “Greenwood Gap” from Pleasant Hill to south Lee’s Summit, the missing link still to be funded
    • Blue River trail connecting Rock Island to Brush Creek Trail and Country Club Plaza
    • Little Blue Trace trail from Independence to Longview Lake

Rock Island Corridor Trail Phases and Connections. Updated June 2019.Zoom

 


2016: Rock Island Spur of Katy Trail State Park  (Pleasant Hill to Windsor)rockislandstatepark
The Missouri State Parks is currently building a 45 mile segment from Pleasant Hill in KC’s southeast suburbs eastward to Windsor, where it will join the existing Katy Trail. This segment is using an inactive portion of the Rock Island Railroad owed Ameren, the St. Louis utility company. Funding was secured as part of legal settlement over a dam failure at an Ameren reservoir in Mid-Missouri.

Related: Rock Island Trail State Park and the Missouri Rock Island Trail coalition.


2020-2021: Jackson County Rock Island Trail – Truman Sports Complex to Lee’s Summit
In 2016 Jackson County and the Kansas City Transportation Authority jointly purchased Union Pacific’s Rock Island line between the Truman Sports Complex and Greenwood. The corridor will initially become a multi-use trail, and it will be preserved for future public transit service like bus rapid transit or commuter rail. Jackson County began trail planning in 2016, and the first phase of trail opened June 1st, 2019.

Related: Jackson County’s Rock Island Rail Corridor Authority, the agency in charge of the current trail development work.

Greenwood Gap
A small section of the corridor through the town of Greenwood is still an active railroad and was not part of the Union Pacific sale to Jackson County and the KCATA. Planning is underway to identify an alternate corridor for a trail or on-street connection to Pleasant Hill.


Local trail connections
Once the Rock Island corridor is complete, there will be several local connections to the MetroGreen trail network. Most of the metro area will be within a half-day’s ride of Katy Trail! Some of these local trails are open now, some are under development, and others are just dreams waiting for funding.

  • Brush Creek Trail to the Country Club Plaza, with a future extension into Northeast Johnson County
  • Blue River Trail planned to stretch from Leawood to the Missouri River
  • Downtown Kansas City via the planned Blue River Trail and a future eastward extension of the Riverfont Heritage Trail
  • Downtown KCK via the western leg of the Riverfront Heritage Trial
  • The Route 150 Trail from Lee’s Summit 71 Highway in South KC, with a future extension west to Johnson County
  • Northland via new paths on the Heart of America and Chouteau Bridges

 

Updated June 2019


How you can help make this all happen
Become a member of BikeWalkKC to help us work towards this awesome goal. Your membership supports our work with local cities and counties to bring the Katy to KC and build out the MetroGreen network so the whole region can access the Katy. Join today, or if you are already a member, make a donation.