Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders says a deal is in place with the Union Pacific Railroad to extend the Katy Trail the 25 miles from its present terminus to the Truman Sports Complex.
That would not only make it possible to hike or bike to St. Louis, but, Sanders says, also is a major step toward an area light rail system.
On KCUR's Up to Date on Wednesday, the county executive said a rare opportunity is at hand to buy a ready-made corridor with bridges and rail already in place alongside a long-awaited recreational trail.
"It's all right there for us," he said.
Sanders said the deal already includes negotiations to extend the corridor on to downtown to link with the Kansas City streetcar system.
He also said that he is "more than confident" the $59 million deal will come to fruition because it already has the support of the mayors of several Jackson County cities. He also believes some state aid is possible.
Sanders expects a major announcement within 60 days on funding the project, which he said can be done with no tax increase.