The Rock Island Railroad running through Eldon hasn’t had a car run on its tracks for more than 30 years.
The city of Eldon has received The Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Grant through the Environmental Protection Agency. The grant will provide access to the professional services needed to transform the deserted tracks into a new trail.
“We want the trail to be much more than a three mile strip though our community. We are looking at a comprehensive plan for the Rock Island Trail within our city limits,” said Community resource Director Daphney Partridge. “And then we’re also looking at connect ability to our community as a whole and the overall trail network.”
Once the Missouri Central Railroad company has removed the tracks, it will hand over ownership of the land to the Division of State Parks to complete the Rock Island Trail Project, which Partridge hopes will attract new business and visitors.
“I know that it’s going to bring lots of economic growth to our town, not to mention it’s going to clean up the way the railroad looks now,” said Eldon Parks and Recreation Director Brendon Stark.
Partridge said during a community service project volunteers removed over 100 dump truck loads of debrief, drug paraphernalia and waste.
“We want to transform this derelict area into a huge economic boom to our community,” Partridge said.
Partridge said she hopes the healthy lifestyle the trail provides will attract both tourism and new businesses to Eldon.