Wyandotte County working on a new trail by Kansas River

Posted at 8:34 PM, Jan 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-29 21:34:16-05

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A new grant will help Kansas City, Kansas resurface and extend a walking trail to help people live healthy lives. 

The KCK Levee Trail follows the Kansas River, curving around Armourdale in a mostly industrial, sort-of rugged area. 

"It's this weird slice of the city that most people don't see because we have so limited our access to this great amenity," said Rick Behrens, the spokesperson for the trail. 

The Unified Government of Wyandotte County is matching the $110,000 grant from the Sunflower State to make the trail more user-friendly. 

"We're looking at the resurfacing of the trail, making it easier on the feet for walkers and runners. Right now, it's kind of chunky gravel," Behrens said. 

When the project is complete, the trail will wind up through Kaw Point to Fairfax, with views of the river along the way. 

Around 80 people use the trail per week, which is low, but Behrens thinks when the trailhead is done up, it'll invite more people. 

"We're really pleased with things like walkability, trails, biking, all of these other things play into making healthier outcomes much more viable," Director of Economic Development for KCK Jon Stephens said. 

The trail project comes as the county is moving through beginning phases to bring a new community center and grocery store to KCK. A grocer hasn't announced its commitment yet. 

When Wyandotte is ranked the unhealthiest in the state year after year, the revamp is needed. 

"It's important people have the opportunities to get out and walk and ride bikes in a place they feel safe," Behrens said. 

Phase two will take the trail near Kemper Arena.