Happy Trails Ahead But Not Now

MOPAC trail connector to be looked at again. The Lower Platte South Natural Resources District was back before the Cass County Board of Commissioners this week to try to get the kickstand up so planning can begin rolling again on connecting the trail from near Elmwood to the Lied Bridge over the Platte River.

The Cassgram reports Lower Platte South NRD Board of Directors Chairman Doug Samuelson said with five new NRD board members and three new Cass County commissioners it was time for the two sides to meet. “We’re anxious to proceed” on connecting the final 10-mile segment in Cass County that would connect Omaha and Lincoln via the trail. “It’s been 10 years and we’re still seeking a solution.”

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.

Another route that 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 was then under study. However, the state department of roads had questions about liability and that route stalled.

Regardless, a memorandum of understanding between Cass County and the Lower Platte South NRD is still in effect until August, 2014. It states that the county and the NRD will “work in cooperation” on connecting the trail. The LPSNRD will lead the “technical aspects of the evaluation” and the county will “lead any public involvement.”

With the trail connection in their districts, District 3 Commissioner Jim Peterson and District 4 Commissioner Dan Henry will serve on the board committee that will work with the LPSNRD.

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