South KC Perspective
Indian Creek and Blue River Trails Connect
By John Sharp
About 50 people including me attended a ribbon cutting Thursday, November 10, to mark the official opening of another section of the Blue River Trail which connects to the Indian Creek Trail south of Bannister Road and southeast of the Bannister Federal Complex.
The new half-mile section includes a lengthy bridge over Indian Creek just west of its confluence with the Blue River and ends at 95th Street (which at that location is north of Bannister Road) at the east end of the Complex.
The Blue River Trail runs south along the river to the Minor Park tennis courts, but funding is available to extend it further south toward Martha Truman Road which is expected to be done in 2018.
Plans call for continuing the trail north to connect with the Trolley Track Trail where it currently ends just south of the 85th and Prospect intersection. The city is currently designing this trail connection, and enough funds are available to construct it north to Prospect, but additional funds are needed to continue it north to 85th. Construction of the extension to Prospect also is expected to be done in 2018.
Work to stabilize the subsurface of the Trolley Track Trail where it runs over an undermined area south of 85th between Tracy and Woodland where a sinkhole developed is expected to be completed in 2017 thanks to the receipt of a $200,000 federal grant. The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) which owns the Trolley Track Trail right-of-way is overseeing the design of the stabilization work.
The KCATA closed that section of the trail and installed concrete barriers in 2012 and erected a chain link fence in 2014 to prevent its use. (While the barriers remain, the fence has been torn away and well-worn paths show walkers and cyclists are just going around the barriers.)
Once the missing link between 95th just west of Blue River Road and 85th & Prospect is completed and the undermined area stabilized, walkers and cyclists can take the trails from the Plaza area to Olathe.