The connection of the hiking/biking trail from where it ends near Wabash in Cass County to the trail system in Sarpy County starting at the Lied Platte River Bridge has been on the drawing board for several years. For now, it will stay that way.
The Cassgram reports that there had been plans to use a system along county roads in Cass County, but a public outcry by landowners along the rock roads, an outcry that was backed by the county board in 2009 and involved legislative help from then-state senator Dave Pankonin, stopped that route.
As Fact Finders reported several months ago, another route along hard surfaced roads has since been under study. That route comes out of Elmwood on Highway 1, onto the state spur through Murdock, then over onto 310th Street before going on East Park Highway to South Bend and the bridge. Besides traveling along the paved roads, the route also brings trail users through those towns and may bring a little economic activity.
However, the Lower Platte South Natural Resources District, the public agency that is promoting the trail, has not been able to get state department of roads approval as questions about liability exist.
NRD officials were before the Cass County Board of Commissioners last week and said there hadn’t been any progress to report but NRD staffers continue to look at solutions. Those solutions may have to include some type of state legislative action, they indicated.
Regardless, a memorandum of understanding between Cass County and the Lower Platte South NRD was renewed for a third year. The MOU continues to state that the county and the NRD will “work in cooperation for a connecting trail between the MoPac East Trail in Elmwood and the Lied Platte River Bridge near South Bend.”
The LPSNRD will lead the “technical aspects of the evaluation” and the county will “lead any public involvement.” The MOU states important factors to be considered include, but are not limited to: safety, right-of-way, economic development opportunities, impact on adjoining properties and trail functionality.