KALISPELL – The recent grand opening of the rail-served Glacier Rail Park has Kalispell a step closer to the transformation of its core with the construction of the upcoming Kalispell trail.
“Acres and acres and acres along where the train track is now that is just ripe for redevelopment either by the people who currently own it or by other investors who want to come in and purchase it and put in restaurants or commercial businesses or hotels or high-density housing,” said Kim Morisaki with Montana West Economic Development.
The construction on the trail can begin when the rail lines in the are removed, which is expected to happen in the Spring of 2020.
The Kalispell City Council selected Alta Planning and Design and KLJ Engineers to design and construct the trail earlier this year.
More than 600 people attended the open houses, workshops and meetings during the Kalispell Trail Deep Dive event with railroad car tours of the downtown area along the rail in June.
Design ideas and public input on the trail, which is the second phase of the $21 million Kalispell Core and Rail Redevelopment project, continued this week with open houses at City Hall.
The Kalispell Trail Crew — a 22-member advisory board — will review all the public comments and guide city staff as trail design continues. A final design is hoped for by early 2019.
The project was first launched in 2012 and has been partially funded by a $10 million grant from the US Department of Transportation.