Gov. Nixon announces Katy Trail extension to be complete by 2016

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JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Jay Nixon addressed a group of onlookers Thursday as he announced the expected completion date for the extension of the Katy Trail. The expansion will stretch 47.5 miles from Windsor to Pleasant Hill along the Rock Island Trail State Park according to the governor's press release, and it is set to be complete by late 2016. 

Currently, the Katy Trail runs from Clinton to St. Charles County. The expansion will give users in the Kansas City region greater access to the already 240 mile long trail. 

"One of my top priorities as governor has been to improve and expand our outstanding state park system and give Missouri families and visitors even more ways to enjoy the outdoors," Nixon stated in a news release.

This is a sizable increase in trail length since Nixon's 11 mile extension back in 2011.

According to the same news release, the Katy trail is responsible for nearly $18.5 million per year in "economic impact". It is reportedly also responsible for 367 jobs.

Jefferson City Mayor Carie Tergin also spoke about why she feels this is a great community project.

"It's exciting because the Katy Trail leads people right into our state capital. The bike pedestrian bridge, that leads right across our beautiful Missouri River, leads people right into the state capital area, and showcases all that Jefferson City has to offer. So, we hope that people get out here and enjoy it," Tergin said.

The department of parks and recreation also voiced its support of the expansion and and how it feels it will benefit Missourians. 

"Overall, Missouri is a trail state.This is a great example of how it's continuing to grow and how it'll continue to benefit everybody in Missouri," said department director Bill Lockwood.