Eastrail Connector Project Gets OK From King County Council

BELLEVUE, WA — The King County Council on Tuesday approved a public-private partnership plan to link the 520 Trail Corridor to Bellevue’s Eastrail segment. The agreement between the county and Eastrail Partners allows for funding, design and construction of the Northup Connector, a 400-foot trail linking the two systems.

“At the crossroads of two major regional trails and the doorstep of an exciting new neighborhood, the Northup Connector will open up all sorts of new transportation possibilities for our region,” said Councilmember Claudia Balducci, chair of the King County Council. “The agreement authorized today allows us to build Eastrail faster by leveraging the skills and expertise of our community partners. It’s a win-win for trail users, taxpayers, and King County as a whole.”

Last Year, REI and Meta committed $1 million each to help fund Eastrail projects, and an amendment to the latest King County budget provided the remaining funds to complete the $2.5 million connector project. King County officials said Tuesday’s approval will provide Eastrail Partners enough time to get bids ahead of next year’s construction season.

“Eastrail Partners is truly exciting about this finalized agreement that allows us [to] begin design and construction of the Northup Connector project,” said Katherin Hollis, the non-profit’s executive director. “This project [is] a holistic example of our organization’s role in the Eastrail effort of securing private sector investment for projects and accelerating timelines for a fully connected trail.”

Once fully complete, the Eastrail system will stretch an uninterrupted 42 miles between Renton and Snohomish County. In November, the county opened another 2.5 miles of trail along Lake Washington, connecting to three waterfront parks. Earlier this year, Amazon pledged $7.5 million to help King County overhaul the 100-foot tall Wilburton Trestle in Bellevue.

Source: Bellevue Patch