KCATA President and CEO
On Sept. 30, Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders and I announced a cooperative agreement that will provide the financing necessary for the future acquisition of the 17.7 miles of the Rock Island Corridor from Union Pacific Railroad.
This partnership will allow the KCATA and County to acquire an assembled right-of-way from the Lee’s Summit area into Kansas City. This corridor is unique as it represents a dedicated connection across these communities that is currently unutilized. It would be difficult, if not impossible, for any entity to assemble such a corridor today.
This initiative is consistent with the Board’s vision for the KCATA’s expanded role in transportation for the region as it allows the Authority to gain access, control and development rights to the corridor. It will give more immediate pedestrian and bike access and will provide a platform and opportunity for further multi-modal uses from dedicated BRT to commuter rail. The KCATA will be the entity that controls all of this development and will work with the County to marshal the interests and resources of the communities in and around the corridor to realize this vision. Some functions may be able to be implemented in the near future while others will develop over the course of time.
The ownership and maintenance of the corridor would be the second such initiative for KCATA as the Authority in like manner maintains and controls the Country Club Trolley Track Trail Right-of-Way in Kansas City. Further, other entities nationwide, similar in nature to the KCATA have taken similar actions to acquire these types of right-of-ways for transportation purposes.
Supporters at the Sept. 30 announcment.
A rendering from Jackson County, Mo., illustrates the potential for transit development along the Rock Island Corridor.