[GeoStL] FW: Agreement for 'Complete Katy Trail' announced

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I received this from an acquaintance of mine. Bernie


Subject: FW: Agreement for 'Complete Katy Trail' announced




Today, an event that the Missouri Bicycle Federation, bicycling and trails
groups, and thousands of individuals across Missouri have been working hard
to achieve for many years--an agreement to "complete the Katy Trail" by
connecting it to the Kansas City metro area.

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the Attorney General's Office,
and AmerenUE announced a settlement regarding the Taum Sauk dam disaster
this morning.

The settlement includes about $180 million in reparation payments from
Ameren.

Included in the settlement is a "Trail Use Agreement" and $18 million that
will allow the DNR to build the Katy Trail Connection to Kansas City and
will pay a good part of the expense of building the trail connection.

Our thanks go to Governor Blunt, Attorney General Jay Nixon, and DNR
Director Doyle Childers for working together to make sure the Katy Trail
Connection was included in the Ameren agreement.  Political differences made
the negotiations rocky at times, but all sides were able to see the benefit
of the Katy Trail connection for all Missourians and, in the end, all sides
had to work together to make it happen.

All involved can consider the Katy Trail Connection to be an important part
of their legacy--a new 46-mile long state park that will be enjoyed by many
millions of citizens for decades and centuries to come.

MoBikeFed and other groups across the state have been working over a period
of several years to generate over 5000 email, mail, and phone messages in
support of the Katy Trail Connection, as well as numerous resolutions and
letters of support from cities, counties, parks departments, community
organizations, and other agencies, insuring that our political leaders knew
there is strong community support for the trail connection.

Thanks to all of you who have been part of this effort.

When you take the time to let your elected officials know how you feel, it
really DOES make a difference!

Katy Trail Connection Details
-----------------------------
The Katy Trail connection will be built on the Rock Island railroad corridor
between Windsor and Pleasant Hill. Pleasant Hill is on the edge of the
Kansas City metropolitan area.

(Union Pacific owns the Rock Island line from From Pleasant Hill on in to
Kansas City, and plans are already underway to connect the trail through
Lee's Summit and eventually to downtown Kansas City via alternate routes.)

The portion of the Rock Island corridor that will be used for the trail is
about 46 miles.  Putting this together with the 'Machens extension' on the
east end (about 11 miles), this will increase the total size of the complete
Katy Rail-Trail network to approximately 282 miles.

The Rock Island portion of the trail will be a "rails-with-trails"
project--the trail will be built in the railroad right-of-way alongside the
railroad tracks so that the railroad can still use the corridor in the
future.

Building the Katy Trail Connection alongside the existing track will be
relatively expensive compared with building a trail on the railbed, as the
rest of the Katy Trail and most rail-trails are. Much grading and foundation
work must be done, and bridges and underpasses built alongside existing
railroad bridges and underpasses.

However, the agreement includes $18 million from Ameren to assist in
construction expenses. Apparently this is not enough to completely construct
the 46-mile segment and additional funds will be needed--either from the
Missouri General Assembly or from other sources.

The state also receives first right of refusal for purchase of the railroad
corridor if Ameren ever decides to sell it.

More about the Katy Trail Connection online
-------------------------------------------

Complete text of the agreement with Ameren (PDF format):

  http://ago.mo.gov/pdf/2007/TaumSaukConsentJudgment.pdf

  (Rock Island RR agreement is on pp. 9-10 and the
  Trail Use Agreement is Appendix E, starting on p. 44)

Where will the Katy Trail Connection go?  What will it look like?  Map and
visualization of the "shared corridor concept" is here:

http://mobikefed.org/2005/03/what-katy-trail-connection-to-kansas.php

Governor Blunt's press release:

http://www.gov.mo.gov/cgi-bin/coranto/viewnews.cgi?id=EEAykyuAEuKxAtvRow&sty
le=Default+News+Style&tmpl=newsitem

Attorney General Nixon's press release:

http://ago.mo.gov/newsreleases/2007/Taum_Sauk_settlement_with_Ameren/

Kansas City Star article:

  http://www.kansascity.com/news/breaking_news/story/380807.html

St. Louis Post-Dispatch article:

http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/missouristatenews/story/CF
D659E4513A957C862573A1005677E7?OpenDocument

Associated Press article:

  http://www.columbiatribune.com/2007/Nov/20071128News034.asp






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