The City of Sedalia recently received a $1 million grant from the federal agency’s recreational trails program to convert portions of city roads and sidewalks into a new trail path, the Sedalia Democrat reported. The Missouri department is investing $1.3 million into the project outside city limits and covering 20 percent matching costs for the city’s grant.
The Katy Trail breaks off north of Sedalia, directing visitors onto a road with signs until it reconnects at the Katy Depot.
City Administrator Kelvin Shaw said it’s dangerous for bicyclists, horseback riders and pedestrians to share streets with vehicles.
“It’s frankly been kind of an embarrassment when people ride the Katy Trail and they get to Sedalia, and it’s like, ‘Oh my gosh, what is this? It was a nice trail ’til we got to here,'” Shaw said.
The state will handle the work blazing a new trail between Griessen Road and East Boonville Street. The state could break ground on its portion of the project in early November.
The city’s work could begin this spring, with hopes of finishing in the summer of 2019.
The Katy Trail will still experience some vehicle traffic, as residents in neighborhoods along the path will need to access their driveways.
Katy Trail Sedalia Inc., an organization that’s been working to connect the trail, spent about $16,000 to buy land along and adjacent to the new route. The group is donating the properties to the city to complete the project and to use for rest areas.
John Meehan, a member of the group, said the connection will improve safety and bring more visitors to Sedalia.
“Having a trail that’s continuous gives a wonderful impression to those visitors, and it encourages them to come back because of their experience,” Meehan said.