Port commission approves sale of East Side Corridor to King County; County to develop recreational trail

On Tuesday, Aug. 14, the Port of Seattle Commission voted to approve the sale of portions of the 42-mile Eastside Rail Corridor to King County, ending a multi-year process and placing the corridor in public ownership to benefit many generations to come. 

Commissioners also agreed to grant King County a permanent easement over a portion of the corridor that still has freight service. The easement will allow King County to develop a recreational trail connecting Kirkland, Redmond and Renton.

The transaction now goes to the King County Council for final approval.

The Port of Seattle acquired the corridor in 2009 and agreed to lease the southern portion of the corridor to King County for both use as a trail and possibly an Eastside transportation corridor.

Over the years, King County, Sound Transit, Puget Sound Energy, and the cities of Kirkland and Redmond all joined the effort to preserve the corridor and keep the parcel out of the reach of private developers.

King County is considering the corridor for development as a dual-us corridor—with the potential to meet future public transportation needs while still providing connections to South, East and North King County through a series of biking, walking and hiking trails.