KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Workers are finishing a new biking and hiking trail that eventually will link Wyandotte County to a network of trails in Missouri.
The $1.1-million project is adding more than a mile of trail along 5th Street to connect people to other trails and neighboring communities.
Eighty percent of the cost of this project is paid for through a federal transportation grant. Workers are restoring sod along the trail and will do some road striping as part of the finishing touches. But that isn't stopping runners like Frederick Lagrone from already starting to use it.
"We are a nation that's unfit, out of shape, bad diet," said LaGrone, of KCK. "Places to exercise that are safe, you feel you can go out take your family out without any harm, that's a great incentive to go out and do what you need to do to keep yourself healthy."
Eventually the trail will connect through Fairfax to a new Missouri River bridge being built there, crossing the state line to hook up with existing trails in Riverside and Parkville.
"It's very important, because most of these trails are very small," said Steve Brown, a cyclist. "They are two miles or less, these bike-only trails. It's nice to have a length that you can cycle and also so you can cycle somewhere, instead of just two miles out and two miles back."
Right now, hikers and bikers use the Riverfront Heritage Trail to cross the Missouri River near the West Bottoms and link to Missouri's Urban Trail Network.
Trails increasingly are viewed as an important amenity by those looking for safer places to exercise or ways to get around that don't involve an automobile.