County has plans to finish Lake Sammamish trail

September 23, 2013

By Ari Cetron

New: Sept. 23, 1:44 p.m.

In a few years, someone could hop on their bike in Sammamish and before they know it, end up at Golden Gardens Park on the shores of Puget Sound in Ballard.

Kevin Brown, director of King County Parks, explained the county’s plans for finishing paving along the East Lake Sammamish Trail at the Sammamish City Council’s Sept. 16 meeting.

“By 2017, we’re looking to pave this section of trail through Sammamish,” Brown said.

When finished, the roughly 44-mile trail will run from Lake Sammamish State Park through Sammamish, through Marymoor Park to the Sammamish River Trail, and on to the Burke-Gilman Trail, which stretches around Lake Washington and across Seattle to Golden Gardens.

In Sammamish, the remaining unpaved section of the trail is set to be paved in three sections. It will generally be 12 feet wide with a 2-foot soft shoulder on each side. In some cases, there will be a split-rail fence along the side of the trail to stop what Brown called “informal rest stops.”

The first section of the trail is set to go out for construction bids next month, Brown said. The 2.6-mile stretch from 187th Avenue Northeast to Inglewood Hill Road should be under construction next year.

Doug Williams of King County Parks expects the first segment of paving to cost $6.8 million. Williams cautioned that cost estimates were developed in 2008, so they could change.

King County Parks will pay for the first segment with $3.3 million from the King County Parks Open Space and Trails Levy, $3 million from Federal Surface Transportation Program grants and $500,000 from a Washington State Wildlife and Recreation Trails Program grant.

The second phase is at the southern end of the trail, from Lake Sammamish State Park to Southeast 33rd Street. Brown said they expect to solicit bids in 2014 and build it in 2015. The preliminary estimate for the second phase is $2.5 million.

The third and final phase connects the last link between Inglewood Hill Road and Southeast 33rd Street. King County Parks expects final design in 2015 with construction in 2016 or 2017, and estimates the cost will be $6 million.

Brown said that as the department builds out the trail, they will attempt to try and be ecologically sensitive. They plan to work to build three or four fish culverts under the trail to allow salmon to spawn more easily. They are also trying to adjust the trail where possible to avoid significant trees, Brown said.

As part of the project, the county expects to install parking lots and bathrooms at Southeast 33rd Street and Inglewood Hill Road.

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