Posted: Jul 3, 2014 6:13 AM by Creighton Hayes, KOMU 8 Reporter
Updated: Jul 3, 2014 7:31 AM
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Department of Natural Resources petitioned Ameren Energy to extended the bidding period for the Rock Island Corridor of the Missouri Central Railroad.
KOMU 8 News reported on July 1 that Ameren had extended the original deadline to July 31. The extension came after a request was made by Missouri Rock Island Trail Inc., a community action group looking to purchase the abandoned corridor.
"We remain very interested in the corridor and see it as a valuable recreational asset if it is no longer to be used as a railroad," DNR Director Sara Parker Pauley said in a letter to Ameren.
If the bid period is extended and DNR were to win, the rail-line would likely become a trail system similar to the Katy Trail.
The Rock Island Corridor runs 245 miles from Maryland Heights, near St. Louis, west to Pleasant Hills near Kansas City.
The area currently up for sale is the portion between Windsor and Owensville.
"The Katy has a proven track record as an economic engine for the many communities through which it passes," the letter said. "For every one dollar we spend on the park, we see an $18 return to our state's economy."
DNR said it hopes a Rock Island Trail would be an equal investment.