This is shaping up to be a big year for the Kalispell Parkline Trail
By Myers Reece//Feb 4, 2021
On Aug. 22, 2017, surrounded by a crowd of 200 people that included local, state and federal leaders, Mayor Mark Johnson called the groundbreaking of the Glacier Rail Park, part of the ambitious Kalispell Core and Rail Redevelopment project, “truly a transformative moment.”
“This is the moment in history 50 years from now we will look back on and realize the pain and sacrifices we made were well worth the effort,” Johnson continued.
While it would have been nice to wake up the next day and see the entire trail system in place with rows of shimmering new businesses lining the corridor, that’s obviously not how these kinds of historic undertakings work.
Fast forward a few years, the rail park is finished and full of tenants, but the railroad tracks through town still sit in place, an extended waiting period that came on the heels of a years-long planning process, plus many more years of discussion. Taken altogether, it’s been a long time since the ball first got rolling.
In other words, while I believe that Johnson’s talk of a “transformative moment” will prove prescient, the early stages of transformation, from bureaucracy to Brownfields to bulldozers, take a lot longer than a ceremony, and aren’t nearly as fun.
But the fruits of our patience and officials’ persistence in ushering in the transformation are about to become far more visible and tangible this year. Not only will the tracks be pulled up, but the trail itself is expected to be started and completed within the calendar year.
Read the full article from the Flathead Beacon here.