Kirkwood residents have until Nov. 30 to voice their opinions on possible routes for an extension of Grant’s Trail into Downtown Kirkwood.
During a public Zoom session on Tuesday, Nov. 16, representatives from the city of Kirkwood, engineering firm Horner & Shifrin, and Shockey Consulting Services presented several potential routes extending the 10-mile trail, which currently runs from the River Des Peres Greenway to Leffingwell and Holmes in Kirkwood.
Paul Wojciechowski of Horner & Shifrin shared four possible routes, all of which end at the Kirkwood Farmers’ Market. He said the routes were determined using public feedback collected in past months, as well as traffic data and requirements for future grant funding.
Alternative One utilizes the abandoned rail spur owned by Union Pacific Railroad and continues adjacent to an active Union Pacific railway. The path would cross at Burlington Northern Railroad, Leffingwell and Fillmore, cross the Union Pacific tracks on the east side of Taylor, then cross just north of the Union Pacific Railroad to the Kirkwood Farmers’ Market.
Alternative Two would cross the Burlington Northern Railroad along the west side of Holmes to Elliot, then travel west on the south side of Elliot to the abandoned Union Pacific rail spur. The route would continue northwest adjacent to Leffingwell. At Leffingwell, it would turn north and cross the Union Pacific active rail line, then run on the south side of Scott to Fillmore. The trail would continue north and then west of Fillmore on the south side of Madison. The trail would then cross just north of the Union Pacific Railroad to the Farmers Market.
Alternative Three would travel southwest on the north side of Leffingwell from the trailhead to the billboard access road, from which it would travel northwest to cross the Burlington Northern Railroad with an undercrossing to the northeast that will lead into the abandoned rail corridor. The route would continue on the right of way of the rail spur owned by Union Pacific to Clinton, where it would turn west and travel on the south side of Clinton to Leffingwell, cross Leffingwell to the west, and travel to just north of the Leffingwell Center. The route would then travel to the north side of the Hudson-Leramo Beverage Group Parcel, then between this parcel and the cell tower, west to Fillmore. The trail would cross Fillmore and use a raised and separated or existing side path on the south side of West Monroe to Taylor, next to the Performing Arts Center. The trail would then travel north on the east side of Taylor and cross the Union Pacific tracks, then cross just north of the Union Pacific Railroad to the Kirkwood Farmers’ Market.
Alternative Four would travel on the southeast side of Leffingwell from the trailhead and follow Leffingwell as a side path to Clinton. The route would cross Clinton, travel on the north side of Clinton to Fillmore Park, then travel north on Fillmore before crossing to the west side at E. Clinton Place. The side path would continue north on Fillmore to the existing Kirkwood maintenance site, where it would travel through the site to connect to Taylor and the Performing Arts Center. The side path would travel north on the east side of Taylor, crossing the Union Pacific rail corridor before turning west just north of the Union Pacific Railroad to the Farmers Market.
Wojciechowski said that Alternative One is the route most aligned with survey results, but also the most expensive option. He added that none of the routes are set in stone, as they will all require negotiation with railroad companies and property owners.
Anyone who missed the meeting may view the slideshow at tinyurl.com/2shsxeph.
Wojciechowski encouraged all meeting attendees to share their input via online survey or leave comments on the interactive mapping tool. Once feedback is collected, a final concept plan will be developed and, should all go according to plan, the city will begin grant applications in mid to late December, with a final submission deadline in February 2022.
“We really need consensus on the alignment and elected officials and staff will want to hear what you have to say,” said Wojciechowski.