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Missouri park officials weigh new hiking, biking trail

Pair of legs walking on a trail in nature towards the light

EUGENE, Mo. – Missouri parks officials will soon have to decide whether to move forward with a biking and hiking trail project.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the state parks division has until Feb. 21 to decide on an electric services company’s donation of the 144-mile stretch of the Rock Island rail line.

Park officials say they’re concerned with the potential cost of developing the corridor, which could hurt the state’s ability to operate existing parks. The state estimated in 2017 that the trail could cost between $65 million to $85 million.

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation and Missouri Rock Island Trail Inc. have pushed officials to move forward.

The Missouri Farm Bureau Federation raised concerns that the project would disrupt farms and raise costs for roads and public safety.

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