Eastside Rail Corridor - Regional Trail
Final Trail Master Plan and Environmental Impact Statement released!
King County is planning 16.7 miles of new regional trail that will connect the Eastside like never before and provide the cities of Renton, Bellevue, Kirkland, Woodinville and Redmond with new opportunities for non-motorized recreation and transportation. The opportunities are many, whether it is expanding our transportation options, creating economic and cultural opportunities, protecting natural resources, maintaining access to scenic vistas, or providing recreation around the beautiful Northwest.
On July 18, 2016, King County released the Final Master Plan and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), which identifies a Preferred Alternative trail alignment for the ERC.
The County considered three options through this process: not building the trail, building the trail on the existing railbed, and building the trail off the railbed, as close as possible to one of the edges of the ERC property. The final trail alignment can vary in places and doesn't need to be the same throughout the entire corridor. In fact, based on differing conditions throughout the corridor, the Preferred Alternative is a combination of the two alignments. In the Final Master Plan and EIS, Chapter 4 includes explanations of the Preferred Alternative for each segment of the corridor, and Volume 2 contains the detailed map drawings depicting the Preferred Alternative alignment.
- In the Lakefront Segment (Renton to I-90) the Preferred Alternative is on the railbed. The on-railbed alignment is slightly modified in some locations, shifting or widening slightly to avoid or minimize environmental impacts, improve neighbor privacy in a residential setting, or to improve trail experience.
- For the Wilburton Segment ( I-90 to 108th Ave. NE), the Preferred Alternative for the southern part of the segment, south of NE 8th Street, is on the railbed. North of NE 8th Street, where transit uses are being planned by Sound Transit, such as for East Link Light Rail, and proposed future light rail alignment plans from Bellevue to south Kirkland under ST3, the Preferred Alternative is either off-railbed or a modified off railbed profile that seeks to minimize costs and impacts while providing opportunities for optimized co-location of the trail with the future transit alignment
- In areas of the Valley Segment (north Kirkland to Woodinville), where there are no plans for use of the railbed by our partner owners, Sound Transit and Puget Sound Energy, the Preferred Alternative is on the railbed where environmental impacts and costs are minimized. In some sections, such as from Slater Avenue in Kirkland to approximately 135th Avenue NE in Woodinville, the Preferred Alternative for the ERC’s Main Line is the Off-Railbed Alternative to avoid impacts to wetlands and to provide space for a Puget Sound Energy power line project. Other short sections in the Valley Segment are off railbed to avoid wetland and stream impacts, or to accommodate a short section of active freight operation in the northernmost mile of the Spur adjacent to SR202.
To identify this preferred alignment, the County considered public and agency comments on the Draft Master Plan and EIS, the current status of plans for Sound Transit and Puget Sound Energy, and potential environmental and community impacts. The next step for this document is consideration by the King County Council this fall.
Read the full analysis in the documents linked below.
Volume 1: Master Plan & EIS
Download Volume 1 files by chapter:
Volume 2: Preliminary Plans for Build Alternatives (On-Railbed and Off-Railbed Trail Alignments)
Download Volume 2 files by segment:
Printed copies of the Master Plan and EIS can be viewed at the following King County Libraries:
Take a Virtual Tour of the Eastside Rail Corridor!
With this interactive Story Map, created by Trust for Public Land in partnership with King County Parks, you can tour each segment of the corridor and zoom in to view features of the surrounding landscape and community amenities in close proximity to the ERC.
Receive information about events and other news: Subscribe to our ERC newsletter
The Eastside Rail Corridor is part of a 42-mile rail line once owned by Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Company (BNSF). When BNSF decided to sell, King County joined with other partners to preserve this valuable corridor and place it in public ownership.
The ERC is owned and managed by King County, the cities of Kirkland and Redmond, Sound Transit, and Puget Sound Energy. These owners work together through the Regional Advisory Council to maintain a collaborative, regional planning process for the ERC, with the goal of achieving connectivity and multiple uses in the corridor.
KPLU Interview: Department of Natural Resources and Parks director, Christie True sits down to speak public input on the ERC
It Begins: County Executive removes first spike from outdated rails. Read the press release.
Toll Free Number: 855-216-9461
Direct/local number: 206-204-8801