Funding sought for rails-to-trails

By The Associated Press

BRUCE – Funding source has yet to be found for converting a railroad line from Bruce to Coffeeville into a biking and walking trail.

Calhoun County Board of Supervisors President Barney Wade tells WTVA-TV that without funding the project is on hold.

“If there’s funding available down the road, then we might do something, but right now, it’s mainly economic development for the future,” Wade said.

Last December, supervisors in the two counties established the Mississippi Skuna Valley Rails-to-Trails Recreational District.

It was to preserve an abandoned railroad corridor and its right of way for use as a multi-use recreational trail known as the Skuna Valley Trail.

Maintenance costs for the 21-mile stretch of rail bed would be split between the two counties.

The railroad line was formerly owned by the Mississippi and Skuna Railroad. It used the line to transport timber from Bruce to the Illinois Central Railroad. From there, it was shipped across the country.’

Cyclist Jimmy Gage Dobbs says the trail would complement the Tanglefoot Trail, a similar project under construction from New Albany to Houston.

“I’m excited for the trail going from New Albany to Houston,” Dobbs said. “I’m excited that we have access now to the trail bed, and I think over time we’ll procure funding and we’ll see it through.”