acked by the county’s parks tax, many Platte Countians’ favorite amenity will be expanded upon in several areas to create a more free-flowing trail system.
On Monday, the Platte County Commission unanimously agreed to enter into a trail design contract with Transystems to bridge the gap between existing trailheads along four sections of trail across the county.
Platte County has roughly 27-miles of concrete trails, providing walkers, runners and cyclists with the easy access points to get out and go. Paved trails wind along creeks, roadways and 80-year-old forests. Views along a portion of the trails feature stunning scenery of limestone rock formations, gentle flowing waters and golden prairie grass.
“The county has a very nice trail system,” said Daniel Erickson, director of public works. “These projects will expand upon that trail system.”
The four proposed trail projects range from 1,000 linear feet to 8,600 linear feet, totaling about 2.5 to 3 miles of additional trail.
As for the scope of the project, the services provided by Transystems will focus exclusively on the design and engineering aspects of the project. According to the service contract, basic design and engineering duties will cost $292,734. This cost does not include actual construction of the trails.
Two new segments will be added south of Platte City, while the other two segments will be added near the Brush Creek area.
The design and engineering of the first segment scheduled to get underway will be along Brush Creek, south of Highway 45 and along I-435. This project will begin at the northern right-of-way of NW River Road, where it will extend north along the eastern right-of-way of I-435 and connect with the existing paved trail along Brink Meyer Road.
“The engineering is not cheap, said Erickson. “One reason for that is this particular 2.5 miles will include a significant bridge.”
A proposed pedestrian bridge will cross Brush Creek.
Another concern Erickson raised was the lack of adequate space for a 10-foot-wide path along a stretch of the proposed trail. “There is also an area along Brush Creek where it is very tight to the interstate so we may have to potentially put in a wall,” Erickson said.
Erickson also pointed out that a developer will be building onto this trail to connect his development with the county’s southern portion of the trail. The northern portion of trail will be done by the developer, in conjunction with development going on, said Erickson. The developer is financially responsible for designing and constructing his own segment, he added.
“The Brush creek area project is a nice new trail that will be near a lot of residences in the Thousand Oaks area, and a lot of people will have access to the trail system.” Current projections aim to have the design done over the winter months and construction potentially starting in either spring or early summer.
Another segment of trail will be added along the southern right-of-way of Tom Watson Parkway and extend along the existing bridge over Brush Creek. The trail will continue west for about 500 feet and loop around to “align facing north along the west side of Brush Creek under the bridge.”
Additionally, Transystems will design two separate and distinct trail segments south of Platte City.
“The two new segments south of Platte City are projects that will fill a couple holes in trail systems that need to be connected,” said Erickson.
The new proposed segment along NW 136th Street will connect to the existing trailhead and expand east and south around the cemetery. The paved trail will then veer east for about 1,750 feet, eventually connecting with the existing trail at the intersection of Oak Valley and NW 136th Street.
The second segment near Platte City will start at the northwest corner of Running Horse Road and NW 132nd Street, where it will stretch north along the western right-of-way of Running Horse Road until it reaches NW 136th Street.
During the county commission meeting, commissioner Dagmar Woods asked Erickson if it was correct to say actual construction would cost over $2 million for all four segments. Erickson responded by saying it’s too early to say for certain, “but it’s going to be expensive.”
Erickson pointed out that residents score trails as the top desired park amenity on all county surveys.
“If you go out and spend time out on a trail you find out why,” said Erickson. “It’s because they are accessible to everybody. Unlike a ball field, which may be great for people who have kids who might play T-ball and softball, trails are there for everybody from avid bicyclists, to people like older adults who just want to get out and see nature. The trails are very popular.”