When it gets built, the Rock Island Trail rolling through the middle part of Missouri will be a great addition to the existing Katy Trail.
But challenges must be overcome to complete the new amenity. Supporters especially need more money to construct the trail, which will attract bicyclists, runners, hikers and others.
Locally, Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders is still trying to pull together the $60 million required to buy property from the Union Pacific Railroad. The land goes from near the Truman Sports Complex to Pleasant Hill. That will essentially link Kansas City area residents to both trails.
Sanders has about $10 million so far, a spokesman said Thursday, but it’s going to take more funds from Kansas City, Lee’s Summit and other cities, plus state and federal officials to complete the deal by a Sept. 30 deadline. After that, the county hopes to get a $13 million federal grant to help build the trail.
This vital rails-to-trails project is worth support from all levels of government.