Officials in Miami are working to bring a Rails to Trails project to the city.
The Rails to Trails project will involve the creation of an 8 mile route. Russell Earls, Ottawa County District 3 Commissioner is spearheading the project and he says it will involve 4 phases.
“Basically tie in the schools the college and then tie into the trail that goes across the Neosho River,” says Russell Earls.
The project will also incorporate the rehabilitation of Route 66 with a walking, biking, and hiking trail.
“Route 66 is kind of going to be the key to this thing being very successful,” says Earls, “we have the last stretch of ribbon road the original 9 foot wide section in the nation.”
The city of Miami, county government, tribes, and parks and rec are also working to bring this project to life. They have received one TSET grant and are currently working to acquire a tap grant to help fund them begin first phases of the trail design.
“We have to provide opportunities for our citizens to have healthier living. Oklahoma is number 1 in diabetes and heart disease and if we can provide more opportunities for our folks to exercise bike, hike, have fun that’s obviously going to help,” says Russell Earls.
He says the first phase is what they are hoping to start next year.
“We can literally just open up the trail by cutting the brush off the sides grading the old rail bed and redecking the old railroad trellis that goes across the Neosho River,” says Earls.
Earls adds the project is looking for members of the community that are willing to make financial contributions to help fund it, as will as individuals that are wanting to help them maintain the trails volunteers once they are established.