Bicycle enthusiasts are a little closer to having more trail to ride in southern Independence.

Bicycle enthusiasts are a little closer to having more trail to ride in southern Independence.

The Jackson County Legislature on Monday took steps toward a 3.2-mile extension of the Little Blue Trace Trail. It could pass the issue next week.

The $800,000 project should take about three months. The current 11-mile graveled trail is fairly flat, and the extension will be largely the same – though it’s on concrete in some spots – but does have to pass under five bridges, including U.S. 40 and Interstates 70 and 470.

“If all things go well, we’ll be breaking ground this spring,” said Independence Parks and Recreation Director Eric Urfer.

The current trail runs 11 miles from Blue Mills Road south, along the west side of the river, to the bustling commercial area of southeast Independence, where the trail jumps to the east side. This extension will stay along the river, running southwest to Lee’s Summit Road.

The city also plans a connection to the Bass Pro Shops area, where there is a city park.

The city is getting ready to seek on bids on that project. Ultimately, the city plans a network of trails across the city.