About the Rock Island Rail Corridor
(RIRCA) Background Information
The Rock Island Rail Corridor Authority (RIRCA) was established to manage and maintain the Rock Island Corridor, which Jackson County acquired in the spring of 2016.
The RIRCA works on a variety of topics related to the Rock Island Corridor, including, but not limited to, the following:
- Corridor engineering and design
- Legal and regulatory issues related to corridor real estate and property development
- Corridor maintenance
- Corridor safety
- Branding regarding the corridor
- Procuring federal funding
- Administrative support
The 17.7-mile corridor stretches from Arrowhead and Kauffman Stadiums south through Raytown and into Lee's Summit. Corridor planning and design focused on preservation of the national rail network corridor’s integrity, most notably the railroad corridor’s unencumbered continuity, and on multi-modal transportation options as the corridor remains available for freight service.
Rock Island Trail
Construction on Phase One of the Rock Island Trail is complete. The trail is 6.5 miles long, beginning at Brickyard Road in Kansas City and ending at Jefferson Street in Lee’s Summit. There are two official trailheads: 98th street Trailhead (12600 E 98th Street KCMO 64138) and Hartman Park (700 SW Pryor Rd, Lee's Summit, MO 64081). The trail is now open to the public.
Construction on Phase Two, connecting to the Truman Sports Complex, began in the summer of 2019 and took approximately two years to complete. Phase Two is 7.1 miles long has three trailheads: Truman Sports Complex, Downtown Raytown and Woodson Road in Raytown. Phase Two completes a 13.5 mile trail on the Rock Island Corridor.
Connecting to the Katy:
Soon, we hope to connect the Rock Island Trail to the Katy Trail. There is currently an eight mile gap between the southern end of the Rock Island and the MOPAC which connects to the Katy Trail at Pleasant Hill. We have called this project the Greenwood Connector as the trail connector would run right through Greenwood, MO. During 2017 and 2018 Jackson County convened a group of stakeholders to determine the best route through this challenging 8 mile gap. This work produced a conceptual plan that we have started to pursue. Since that time, Jackson County was granted some new federal funding that will allow us to build an additional 1.5 miles of trail past our current southern terminus. We will continue to pursue new federal and other funding opportunities that could pay for this project, however this is likely to occur as a succession of small projects over a number of years.