Location: Kansas

Kansas Trail News: August 11, 2010

Kansas Trail News for August 11, 2010 from Sunflower Recreational Trails:

Prairie Spirit Trail Mentioned In Rails-To-Trails Magazine

The fall issue of Rails-to-Trails Magazine published by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy has a brief article on the Prairie Spirit Trail.

“In eastern Kansas, not far from the urban arms of Kansas City, you can slip loose for a heartland excursion on the 51-mile Prairie Spirit Rail-Trail. You’ll dip into the shade of cottonwoods and oaks, and then splash out into prairie pastures rippling with native grasses and flowers like May apples, ox-eye daisies and wild Kansas sunflowers.

If you happen to bring your dog with you this September, you can cool off together at the northern end of the trail in Ottawa. On Tuesday, September 7, from 4: to 7 p.m., the Forest Park outdoor pool opens for dogs during the “Pooch Plunge.” It’s $10 per dog, and you can register when you arrive. All proceeds go to the local Bea Martin Peck Animal Shelter in Ottawa. For more even rules and information, contact the Ottawa Recreation Commission at 785.242.1939 or visit www.orcottawaks.org.”

Topeka To Build Landon Trail To City Limits

John Purvis, President of Kanza Rail-Trails Conservancy, reports that KDOT has funded development of the Landon Trail project in Topeka all the way to 49th Street (city limits) where Kanza’s section begins. The project takes care of the one bridge left undone at 45th Street (a total of 3 bridges will be rebuilt). The City is scheduled to begin construction this fall on the ten-foot-wide concrete path. The good news is KDOT’s allocation of ARRA stimulus funding went from $429,000 to $1,100,000 and the City’s match stayed at $100,000.

This is a huge step for the Landon Trail as it will enable trail users in West Topeka to travel east on the Shunga Trail and then south on the 38-mile Landon Trail all the way to the Clinton Wildlife Area.

KDOT Selects Transportation Enhancement Projects

The following was excerpted from KDOT’s news release (8-09-10):

The Kansas Department of Transportation has selected 18 projects for inclusion in its Transportation Enhancement program for Federal Fiscal Years 2011 and 2012. Total cost for the 18 selected projects is $14.8 million.

KDOT received 55 applications from local units of government for funding consideration totaling over $42 million. The applications for Federal Fiscal Year 2011 and 2012 projects were accepted during an application period of August 2009 through December, 2009.

  • Marysville — Pedestrian/bicycle path on railbanked Union Pacific Railroad railbed;
  • Derby — Pedestrian/bicycle path with signage, pavement markings and landscaping;
  • Wichita — Redbud Trail pedestrian/bicycle path, Segments 1, 2 and 3, along the railbanked Burlington Northern Santa Fe corridor;
  • Iola — Extension of the Prairie Spirit Trail pedestrian/bicycle path within the city limits;
  • Ottawa — Pedestrian sidewalks and bicycle lanes on west 15th Street;
  • Tonganoxie — Tonganoxie Trail, Phase II, pedestrian/bicycle path connecting to the existing Chieftain Trail;
  • Shawnee — Clear Creek Trail pedestrian/bicycle path, Phase III, connecting to the Gary Haller Trail pedestrian/bicycle path.

Wichita’s Redbud Trail Receives Grant

The City of Wichita has been awarded a federal TE grant of $1.65 million by KDOT to build the Redbud Trail from the Big Ditch at I-135 to Oliver Street for a distance of 2.59 miles. This ten-mile railbanked BNSF rail corridor stretches to Andover. The local match for the concrete path is $707,934. Larry Ross with Prairie Travelers, envisions a trailhead on a vacant tract adjacent to the trail corridor but this would first have to be acquired.

Prairie Spirit Trail Extension In Iola

KDOT has awarded the City of Iola $413,044 in TE funds to extend the 51-mile Prairie Spirit Trail through the community from Cofachique Park to Riverwalk Park for a total distance of 1.06 miles. The local match is $103,261 for the 10-foot-wide asphalt path.

Marysville’s Blue River Rail-Trail Update

Steve O’Neal with Marshall County Connections, reports that Marysville’s Railbed Rehab project was funded through the Transportation Enhancements Program for the trail element of the project. The grant is for $220,901 with a local match $55,225. The City applied for more, which stipulated a 50% match, but KDOT funded 80% (or maximum match) for the trail. The concrete path stretches .4 mile from Broadway to 10th St. This section will utilize an abandoned rail corridor within the city and connect with the portion of the Blue River Rail-Trail on the north which has been completed two miles going north. The trail stretches to the Nebraska state line.

Meadowlark Trail Moving Forward

Central Kansas Conservancy member Laura Henderson has published the first issue of the CKC’s Friends of the Trail newsletter for the Meadowlark and Sunflower Santa Fe Trails. The newsletter reports that work continues on the first mile of the 13-mile Meadowlark Trail going south from Lindsborg. Brush is being cleared and poison ivy has been sprayed. On August 28, there will be another work day with new Bethany College students and community residents. Darren Sharkey, an LSU student, is working on designing a linear park for the trail. The newsletter reports that “For the northern part of the trail, that will include landscaping the trailhead, a mini-park on the River Bend Overlook and something at Johnstown, with perhaps an emphasis on the history of the town and the railroad.” Other “friends of the trail” groups include the McPherson, Canton, and Hillsboro. The McPherson and Lindsborg groups have each received $5,000 for trail development.

To join CKC and receive the newsletter, go to http://centralkansastrails.org/Membership.html. This link allows you to donate using Paypal.

Kansas Trail NewsKansas Trail News is published monthly by Clark H. Coan, Public Information Specialist for Sunflower Recreational Trails, P.O. Box 44-2043, Lawrence, KS 66044, 785-842-3458. Reprinted with permission. If you have any trail news you’d like to share, please contact us.

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By Randy Rasa, editor/webmaster at Kansas Cyclist, the web's premier Kansas cycling information site, featuring authoritative guides to Kansas cycling clubs, bike shops, organized bike rides, touring, trails, and much more. [learn more]

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