Eastrail Expansion Gets A Big Boost From 'Move Ahead Washington'

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BELLEVUE, WA — The recently-approved “Move Ahead Washington” transportation package includes nearly $30 million in funding to help speed up the completion of the Eastrail, which will one day connect Puget Sound communities across 42 miles of uninterrupted trail from Renton to Snohomish County.

The Eastrail will serve as the north-south spine of the larger Leafline system, with sections serving cyclists and pedestrians around Renton, Redmond, Bellevue, Kirkland, Woodinville and Snohomish.

Lawmakers approved a nearly $17 billion transportation package before adjourning this month to fund a slate of projects across the region over the next 16 years. Celebrating the legislation’s passage as a “landmark victory,” King County Parks officials said approximately $29 million from the package would directly support the Eastrail’s completion.

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“Eastrail is all about connecting communities, and this state transportation funding helps shorten the to-do list as we build a safe and accessible trail network for all,” said Edna Shim, the board president at Eastrail Partners. “Eastrail Partners was honored to work with government partners, legislative champions like Representative Slatter, and other nonprofits to advocate for funding these key projects.”

The state funds will help contractors complete trail connections through Bellevue, retrofit Interstate 90’s steel bridge and overhaul the old Wilburton Trestle as an elevated trail bridge. The money will also help extend the trail system further south, to Renton’s Gene Coulon Park, and retrofit the trestle over State Route 202 for a future connection to downtown Woodinville.

Find out what’s happening in Bellevuewith free, real-time updates from Patch.

The Eastrail has recorded several major milestones in recent months, including the completion of a large waterfront segment between Renton and Bellevue in November. In September, Amazon donated $7.5 million to help complete the Wilburton Trestle segment. The 117-year-old train trestle is scheduled to welcome pedestrians and cyclists to take in the views at 100 feet sometime in 2024.

Learn more about the Eastrail on King County’s website.

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