Momentum Builds for 2020 Kirkland to Renton connectivity via the Eastside Rail Corridor Trail
The press event included comments from Governor Inslee, King County Executive Dow Constantine, County Councilmember Claudia Balducci, Mayor of Bellevue John Stokes and Cascade’s Elizabeth Kiker, on behalf of the Eastside Greenway Alliance.
Last month, public officials, bicycle advocates and members of the public gathered at the Wilburton Trestle in Bellevue to celebrate the announcement of $10 million in funding pledges for the Wilburton Trestle segment of the Eastside Rail Corridor (ERC) trail.
The Wilburton Trestle is an iconic stop along the future Eastside Rail Corridor trail — an off-road multi-use trail connecting Woodinville, Kirkland, Redmond, Bellevue and Renton via a disused rail corridor.
Cascade Bicycle Club and other local non-profits formed a collaborative, the Eastside Greenway Alliance, earlier this year. The Eastside Greenway Alliance (EGA) advocates for accelerated implementation of the entire 42-mile trail — with a specific target of Kirkland to Renton connectivity by 2020. This will link the new trail to the existing Kirkland segment, the Cross Kirkland Connector. Progress is underway!
King County is removing the rails and converting the corridor south of Kirkland all the way to Renton to an interim trail, opening mid-2017. The EGA sees the Wilburton Trestle as the biggest single gap to full connectivity once the interim trail is in, and the highest need for funding in the immediate term.
The new funding pledges from King County ($2M), the State of Washington ($5M), Bellevue ($2M), Group Health ($500K) and the Puget Sound Regional Council ($500K) represent the culmination of months of advocacy efforts by the EGA around the need for a multi-agency funding collaboration and for funding commitments now, to enable construction of the Trestle by 2020.
Next up for the EGA and its partners — including Cascade and our supporters — is turning the funding pledges into concrete commitments. This means letting local and state officials know during budget processes that funding the trestle now is important. If you’d like your voice to be among those advocating for rapid implementation of the Eastside Rail Corridor, sign up here!