August 5, 2019
By Marshanna Smith
Construction crews are back at work today on the northern half of Jackson County’s Rock Island Shared Use Path.
Work stopped on the trail last week following the Surface Transportation Board’s (STB) decision to revoke the County’s 2016 exemption to acquire and operate a rail line. As a result, the County, in consultation with counsel and experts, asked contractors to pause construction on the project to ensure that any further work was in compliance with the STB’s ruling.
Upon further evaluation of the STB’s ruling, the County, counsel and experts authorized contractors to resume work on the trail. Moving forward, no rail, ties or other track materials will be removed from the rail bed. The 7.1-mile northern section of trail will extend the corridor from Brickyard Road in Kansas City to the Truman Sports Complex.
The southern 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, Chipman Road, the Little Blue River and historic Vale Tunnel. It officially opened to the public in June 2019 and remains open for the community to enjoy.
The County will provide updates regarding the Rock Island Trail as they become available.