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County Council approves agreement to plan bridge connecting trail between King and Pierce Counties

Summary

Linking segments of the Foothills Trail

Story

A footbridge connecting two major trails in south King County is closer to reality after today’s unanimous adoption by the Metropolitan King County Council of an interlocal agreement through which King County and its partners will seek funding to design and construct the structure.

“This is innovation and cooperation at its best,” said Councilmember Reagan Dunn, who represents the city of Enumclaw on the Council and the sponsor of the legislation. “The bridge from SR 167 has been removed and we’ll see if using it as a trail bridge on the Foothill’s Trail near Enumclaw is possible. Thanks to the collaborative work between all of the involved parties, the Foothills trail is one more step closer to connecting King and Pierce County.”

The adopted agreement is between King County, the Washington State Department of Transportation, Pierce County, the City of Buckley, and the City of Enumclaw. It sets a framework for the five partners to plan, design and construct a non-motorized bridge over the White River to connect the Foothills (Enumclaw Plateau) Trail in King County with the Foothills Trail in Pierce County.

“Enumclaw eagerly awaits the connection of two counties, four cities and one town, all linked together once again,” stated Enumclaw Mayor Liz Reynolds. “The Foothills Trail bridge across the White River will connect these communities through a beautiful trail system where the railroads that once transported goods and products to and from our city give way to a corridor promoting health, wellness and outdoor enjoyment.”

The Foothills Trail consists of 30 miles of trail segments in Pierce County and southern King County along a former Northern Pacific Railway Company rail corridor. At the King/Pierce border, there is a 1.5-mile gap between Buckley and Enumclaw which would involve crossing the White River. The state Department of Transportation has proposed reusing WSDOT’s former SR 167 Puyallup River/Meridian Street Bridge for this purpose.

The adopted ordinance calls on the groups wanting to close the gap on the trail to review potential options to bridge the span, which includes the reuse of an older span or the possible construction on a new structure. The proposed agreement would not commit any of the members to make financial commitments, but would rather outline a process for the five entities to work together on grant applications, planning and design.
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