March 3, 2011
East Lake Sammamish Trail paving work requires closure through Redmond stretch
Improvements require trail closure, but several alternatives available
A highly anticipated project to upgrade and pave King County’s East Lake Sammamish Trail (ELST) will require closure of a portion of the popular recreational and commuter corridor for up to nine months beginning this spring.
King County will begin to redevelop the ELST where it runs through Redmond, from Northeast 70th Street to the Redmond-Sammamish border at 187th Street Northeast.
Because of the narrow corridor, limited trail access, topographic constraints and the extensive scope of work, the two-mile-long trail segment will be closed to all trail users during construction.
The project includes replacing the interim soft-surface trail with a wider paved trail that makes it safer and more accessible to bicyclists, skaters and other trail users. Redevelopment includes constructing a 77-stall parking lot at Northeast 70th Street.
Bid opening for construction of the estimated $3 million project is expected later this month. Funding for the work is provided by the 2008-2013, voter-approved Proposition 2 Parks Expansion Levy.
Construction is scheduled to begin in May and last until November. During that time, ELST users will have to find an alternate route around the closed stretch of trail, such as bike lanes, sidewalks along Sammamish Parkway and Redmond Way, the Bear Creek Trail, the Washington State Department of Transportation Trail and Marymoor Park.
King County purchased the 11-mile-long East Lake Sammamish rail banked corridor in 1998 for $2.9 million from the Lands Conservancy of King County and Seattle (now Cascade Land Conservancy), which had preserved the option for public ownership of the trail when it stepped up to purchase the rail corridor from the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway.
In 2000, the King County Council unanimously approved a plan for interim use of the trail, including fencing, controlling trail crossings and installing an interim surface. The trail was dedicated in March 2006.
The ELST follows an historic railroad route along the eastern shore of Lake Sammamish within the cities of Redmond, Sammamish and Issaquah. Part of the “Locks to Lakes Corridor,” the trail follows an off-road corridor along the lake and through lakeside communities.
Access to the northern end of the ELST is off Northeast 70th Street in Redmond, near the east side of King County’s Marymoor Park. The trail continues south through Sammamish to Issaquah where it can be accessed via Lake Sammamish State Park's boat launch or Northeast Gilman Boulevard.
The trail is also accessible at numerous locations along its route, although no formal parking areas are currently provided. The ELST intersects with the Issaquah-Preston Trail in Issaquah near I-90, which provides a paved connection east within the Mountains to Sound Greenway Corridor.
East Lake Sammamish Trail is part of King County’s nationally acclaimed regional trail system – a 175-mile-long network of trails for bicycling, hiking, walking and horseback riding. The regional trail system spans an area from Bothell to Auburn and Seattle to the Cascades. The system provides extensive opportunities for recreation and non-motorized mobility and commuting throughout King County. Once the ELST is fully developed, it will be part of a 44-mile-long regional urban trail corridor from Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood to Issaquah.
More information is available at www.kingcounty.gov/eastlakesammamishtrail.
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King County Parks - Your Big Backyard - offers more than 200 parks and 26,000 acres of parks and natural lands, including such regional treasures as Marymoor Park and Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park, 175 miles of regional trails and a world-class aquatic center. By cultivating strong relationships with non-profit, corporate and community partners, King County Parks enhances park amenities while reducing costs. Learn more at http://www.kingcounty.gov/parks/.
East Lake Sammamish Trail
King County Parks