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City of Kirksville Receives Grant to Convert Abandoned Railway into New Trail

KIRKSVILLE, Mo.- The City of Kirksville has been awarded a Transportation Alternatives Program grant by the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission that will be used to build a new multi-use trail on abandoned railroad land.

This project is phase one of a multi-phase project that will revitalize the obsolete rail corridor by providing a safe walking, biking and overall activity trail for residents.

The planned trail will start at existing sidewalk at the intersection of North Baltimore Street and East Cottonwood Street, continue northwest with a new crosswalk at Library Lane near the Adair County Public Library, and continue northwest to connect to planned sidewalk at North New Street. In total, this will be approximately 1,400 lineal feet of paved trail.

“This trail will connect important community centers such as the library, Rotary Park and Kirksville Aquatic Center to surrounding neighborhoods and businesses,” said City Manager Mari Macomber. “Additional phases of this trail project will create a great trail system across the north side of the City.”

Trains were once a key part of Kirksville’s history, with two railroads that ran through town. The east-west railroad line was run under several names before becoming part of the Burlington Northern Sante Fe Railway Company. Those areas have since been abandoned for many decades, as the westward portion was decommissioned in the 1950s and the eastward section removed in the 1980s.

The total project is estimated to cost $200,000. The grant will cover 80 percent, which is roughly $160,000. The costs cover the purchase of the land and the subsequent trail construction.

Trail construction was a topic selected by the community as part of last year’s Kirk’s Capital Improvement Tournament. Funds designated from that will be used toward this project, as well as planned expansion in the future since this grant will help stretch those dollars.


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