The Port of Seattle purchased the 42-mile Eastside rail corridor that connects the city of Snohomish with Woodinville, Kirkland, Redmond, Bellevue and Renton in 2009 to bring it under public ownership.
The transformation of abandoned BNSF train tracks into a trail for pedestrians and cyclists continues with development of the four-mile stretch south of Interstate 90 between Bellevue and Renton, called the Lakefront segment.
The Port of Seattle purchased the 42-mile Eastside rail corridor that connects the city of Snohomish with Woodinville, Kirkland, Redmond, Bellevue and Renton for $81 million in 2009 to bring it under public ownership. Cities and King County have been acquiring sections as they develop portions of the trail.
In 2012, the city of Redmond bought 3.9 miles from the Port and developed it into a gravel trail, called the Redmond Central Connector. Three years later, the Cross Kirkland Corridor, 5.75 miles of converted trail, opened.
Sound Transit also purchased one mile of the corridor for light-rail trackway, stations and maintenance as part of ST2 and ST3 as well as easement rights in the event that the agency wanted to build more light rail or bus-rapid transit along the corridor. No plans are in the works at this time.
On Saturday, King County Executive Dow Constantine and regional officials will formally recognize the Lakefront segment.
This section, which opened for public use in mid June, is considered an interim trail that consists of packed gravel. The master plan calls for a paved trail with fencing, barriers and public art, among other features.
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The corridor runs parallel to Interstate 405, a notoriously congested highway, and will connect with light-rail stations opening in 2023 and planned for 2040.
This cost of this segment, plus a one-mile segment in north Bellevue, is $1.2 million, paid for by a King County levy.
The next focus is on the Wilburton segment, between Highway 520 and I-90, as well as linking the corridor to Northup Way in Bellevue and the 520 Trail from Seattle across the floating bridge to Redmond.