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New section of abandoned rail line converted to a trail

May 16, 2019

EUGENE, Mo. (AP) — The first section of new biking and hiking trail created on an abandoned rail line has opened in the Kansas City area.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony that’s planned for June 1 for the Rock Island Trail will make it official. The 6.4 mile (10.3 kilometer) section of trail stretches from southern Kansas City to the nearby suburb of Lee’s Summit.

Advocates say that when another stretch is completed, it will attract thousands of hikers and cyclists and spur new development. Eventually, the county hopes to connect the trail to the 240-mile (386.22 kilometer) Katy Trial.

Highlights of the new stretch of trail include a section of that passes through the 453-foot (138.07 meter) long Vale Tunnel, which was completed in 1904. Trains stopped using the rail line in the early 1980s.

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