Reprint from King County
Construction on the final segment of King County Parks' East Lake Sammamish Trail will begin June 1. It will be the last unpaved gap in a project to create a 44-mile paved regional trail corridor that connects neighborhoods from the Puget Sound shoreline to the Cascade foothills.
Crews will start construction June 1 on the 1.9-mile trail segment, which will run alongside Lake Sammamish from Pine Lake Creek to Inglewood Hill Road in Sammamish. Once complete, it will offer connections to other regional trails and to light rail stations scheduled to open in 2024.
This new segment of East Lake Sammamish Trail is the final unpaved stretch of the 44-mile “Locks to Lakes Corridor” that connects Seattle to the Eastside and the Cascade foothills via the Burke-Gilman, Sammamish River, Marymoor Connector, East Lake Sammamish Trail, and Issaquah-Preston regional trails.
The East Lake Sammamish Trail provides convenient access to recreation, employment, and retail destinations in the cities of Redmond, Sammamish, and Issaquah.
The trail follows a historic railroad route along the eastern shore of Lake Sammamish. At its southern end, the trail links to King County’s Issaquah-Preston Trail. At its northern end, it connects to the Marymoor Connector Trail in Marymoor Park, which connects to the Sammamish River Trail and to Sound Transit's new Link Light Rail stations in Redmond.
The final trail segment will be built to the same standards users enjoy on all trails in King County’s portion of Leafline, the emerging trail network that will connect King, Pierce, Snohomish, and Kitsap counties. It will feature a 12-foot-wide asphalt surface with 2-foot-wide gravel shoulders on each side of the paved pathway, plus rest areas, safer driveway intersections, fencing, and signage.
Crews will install new culverts that allow for fish passage, plant native vegetation, and install landscaping features along the trail. The segment from Pine Lake Creek to Inglewood Hill Road will be closed during construction, which is expected to wrap up in late 2023.
Construction costs are estimated at about $16.9 million with funding generated by the voter-approved King County Parks Levy.
King County purchased the 11-mile East Lake Sammamish rail-banked corridor in 1998, opening a narrower, gravel-surfaced interim trail in 2006.
Dow Constantine, King County Executive
Construction on this final stretch of the East Lake Sammamish Trail is a welcome milestone in our work to provide people in King County of all ages and abilities with equal access to safe, protected trails they can use to get to work, get exercise, or spend time enjoying the outdoors with their families.
Sarah Perry, King County Council
I am very excited about completing this final segment of the East Lake Sammamish Trail because it means better connections between neighborhoods, retail centers, transit options, plus parks and other trails in our region.
Kali Clark, City of Sammamish's Deputy Mayor
What a special day for the residents of Sammamish! Today we break ground on what is to be the last stage of the East Lake Sammamish regional trail. Once completed, we will have a seamless paved trail from the south to the north along the City’s Lake Sammamish Lake Shore, connecting Lake Sammamish State Park to King County’s Marymoor Park and passing through the City’s Lake Sammamish Landing waterfront park.
The final design for this trail is the result of decades of public engagement through the permit process. The design balances the expansion and paving of the trail surface with consideration of existing built conditions. The City of Sammamish approved a Shoreline Substantial Development Permit that allowed for increased access and recreational opportunities for the public along Lake Sammamish, while protecting the natural resources and ecology of the shoreline. The City and King County worked together to save as many trees as possible along the corridor, to minimize any impacts to sensitive habitat areas, and for the trail to follow the natural contours of Sammamish along the lake.
The City of Sammamish wants to acknowledge that property owners adjacent to the trail have faced disruption in how they are able to enjoy their properties. The City and County worked with residents to minimize disruption along their backyards in order to allow the final trail upgrades that will connect Sammamish to communities from Issaquah to Kenmore to Seattle. We thank you for your patience and cooperation as we look forward to the completion of this project.
This trail, once completed, will represent the best design efforts integrating our region’s precious national environs with new recreational opportunities for Sammamish residents. It will be a priceless asset to the broader region and our residents’ quality of life.
Doug Williams, Department of Natural Resources and Parks, 206-477-4543
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