Executive Constantine announced that King County has assembled significant funds needed to repurpose the historic Wilburton Trestle in Bellevue into an elevated trail that provides spectacular views of the Eastside skyline. It’s expected to be the icon of the emerging Eastside Rail Corridor, a 16-mile regional trail stretching from Renton to Woodinville with a spur to Redmond.
King County has assembled significant funds needed to transform the historic Wilburton Trestle in Bellevue into a stunning elevated trail that can be enjoyed by commuters, cyclists, runners and pedestrians.
The century-old trestle – the largest of its kind in the Pacific Northwest – is expected to be one of the most popular segments of the emerging Eastside Rail Corridor, a 16-mile uninterrupted trail that will stretch from Renton to Woodinville, through Bellevue with a spur to Redmond.
“The iconic Wilburton Trestle will be the symbol of the world-class regional trail system we’re creating along the Eastside Rail Corridor,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “We’re repurposing the historic trestle into a premier public asset that will provide commuters, cyclists, runners and pedestrians with a spectacular view of the Eastside skyline.”
Built in 1904 by Northern Pacific Railway, Wilburton Trestle is one of the few remaining structures that were typical of the original transcontinental rail system. It’s nearly 1,000 feet long and rises more than 100 feet above the ground.
The improvement project – anticipated to be completed in 2020 – will convert the trestle into a multipurpose elevated trail.
"The innovative and iconic Wilburton Trestle project will connect the Eastside like never before, through a multi-use trail corridor," said Gov. Jay Inslee. "I am pleased to announce the state's intent to provide capital funding for the project, and I can't wait to come back and be one of the first to cross the trestle when it opens."
The funding commitments that Executive Constantine announced today will cover $10 million of the project’s total cost of $13.2 million. The commitments include $2 million from King County, $5 million from the state, $2 million from the City of Bellevue as proposed in its 2017-2018 budget, $500,000 from the Puget Sound Regional Council, and $500,000 from Group Health Cooperative.
Executive Constantine also announced that he is creating a commission of local leaders to create a funding strategy to complete the entire Eastside Rail Corridor project.
A regional trail system connecting East and South King communities
The project is part of the broader Eastside Rail Corridor Master Plan, which is now before the Metropolitan King County Council. The trail will connect growing communities in East and South King County and will provide additional commuting and recreational options.
Earlier this year, Executive Constantine led a celebration farther north on the corridor, pulling the ceremonial first spike from an obsolete railway to make way for a multipurpose trail.
The iconic Wilburton Trestle will be the symbol of the world-class regional trail system we’re creating along the Eastside Rail Corridor. We’re repurposing the historic trestle into a premiere public asset that will provide commuters, cyclists, runners and pedestrians with a spectacular view of the Eastside skyline.
The innovative and iconic Wilburton Trestle project will connect the Eastside like never before, through a multi-use trail corridor. I am pleased to announce the state's intent to provide capital funding for the project, and I can't wait to come back and be one of the first to cross the trestle when it opens.
The Wilburton Trestle is an iconic structure. With this funding, we are preserving this unique piece of our history while also creating the next critical link on the Eastside Rail Corridor, which will someday be a ‘highway without cars’ connecting thousands of people to jobs, recreational activities and educational opportunities up and down the Eastside.
The Eastside Rail Corridor demonstrates what we can accomplish as a region when we work together. Right now, Bellevue has funds set aside in its proposed 2017-2018 budget for the new regional trail, and I look forward to the day that we can explore and experience our scenic cities through a new multi-modal connector that will also intersect and nicely complement Bellevue’s planned Wilburton-Grand Connection.
Building a new way to live, work and play on the eastside is a huge lift, and is only moving forward because of our amazing allies and supporters from the public, all levels of government and the private sector. Together, we will create a model to be followed by cities across the world for generations to come.
Group Health believes in partnering with communities to advance health on all fronts, including creating safe spaces for physical activity and connection. We are thrilled to be part of making the vision of the Eastside Rail Corridor a reality. Physical activity has long been a pillar of our community benefit through support of Cascade Bicycle Club’s Group Health STP and the Major Taylor program, giving away more than 4,000 bike helmets annually to kids, as well as support for runs, rides, walks, parks and programs all across the state.
For more information, contact:
Chad Lewis, Executive Office, 206-263-1250