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King County Parks, WSDOT open new segment of Eastrail, connecting to three waterfront parks along Lake Washington

Summary

A new segment of Eastrail opened today offering another connection option between Renton and Bellevue. With connections to three waterfront parks along Lake Washington the new 20-foot-wide mixed surface trail provides more space between people walking and biking and provides an additional opportunity for people with limited mobility to enjoy the outdoors.

Story

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King County Parks and the Washington State Department of Transportation today opened a new 2.5-mile paved segment of Eastrail between Renton and Bellevue, connecting to three waterfront parks along Lake Washington.

The 20-foot-wide trail – featuring a 12-foot center path and wide gravel shoulders -- allows for distance between walkers, runners, and cyclists and provides people who have limited mobility more opportunities to safely enjoy the outdoors. It is the newest segment of the emerging Eastrail, which will offer 42 miles of uninterrupted trail from Renton to Snohomish County with a spur to Redmond.

"The newest segment of Eastrail offers scenic, safe, and healthy connections to waterfront parks and major job centers along Lake Washington,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. "Thanks to our partners at WSDOT and funding generated by the voter-approved King County Parks Levy, we are delivering on our promise to expand, maintain, and enhance our regional trails that connect more people to the best opportunities our spectacular region has to offer.”

“We are excited to open the Eastrail with our project partners King County Parks, the City of Renton and the City of Bellevue," said WSDOT Deputy Secretary Amy Scarton. "This is an important milestone in the delivery of the I-405/Renton to Bellevue Widening and Express Toll Lanes Project. Eastrail contributes to the I-405/SR 167 corridor vision to provide travelers with a safe, sustainable, and integrated multimodal transportation system.

Recumbent cyclists and walkers using the new section of the Eastrail Trail.

The new trail connects to existing Eastrail creating a section of trail that provides direct convenient access to three waterfront parks:

  • Gene Coulon Memorial Park in Renton
  • Kennydale Beach Park in Renton
  • Newcastle Beach Park in Bellevue

The total project cost $26 million and includes this new trail section and future trail bridge over Interstate 405. WSDOT contributed $14 million as part of its Interstate 405 Renton to Bellevue Widening and Express Toll Lanes project and $5 million through WSDOT local programs. The remaining $7 million was generated by the King County Parks Levy, which voters approved in 2019.

King County Parks is working with partners to expand the trail, connecting it to other regional trails. It is partnering with the City of Renton to extend Eastrail to the south as trail planners evaluate options to eventually connect to the Lake to Sound Trail, which runs through neighborhoods from the south end of Lake Washington in Renton to the Puget Sound shoreline in Des Moines.

To the north, Eastrail will connect to the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trail along Interstate 90 and State Route 520 trail, eventually linking the Eastside with Seattle via integrated regional trails.

Eastrail will also be the north-south spine of Leafline, the Central Puget Sound regional trail network connecting King, Pierce, Snohomish, and Kitsap counties.

The new segment opens weeks after Executive Constantine announced Amazon will contribute the final $7.5 million King County Parks needs to add the century-old Wilburton Trestle near downtown Bellevue to Eastrail.

Convenient access to the new segment of paved trail

Access to the new segment of Eastrail is easy:

  • Cyclists approaching from the north via Interstate 90 can access Eastrail at 118th Avenue Southeast and Coal Creek Parkway Southeast
  • Cyclists and pedestrians coming from the south can access the new trail near the Seattle Seahawks’ training facility in Renton and ride north over the Ripley Trestle
  • Those traveling by car can park at Newcastle Beach Park – which features a playground and restrooms – and walk a short distance to the new trail

King County Parks manages the 16-plus miles of Eastrail that is owned by King County. The remaining portions of the former railroad corridor are owned and managed by Kirkland, Redmond, Woodinville, Snohomish County, Sound Transit, and Puget Sound Energy.

Relevant links

  • Eastrail
  • WSDOT’s Interstate 405 Renton to Bellevue Widening and Express Toll Lanes project
  • VIDEO: B-roll footage of Eastrail available for download

  • Quotes

    The newest segment of Eastrail offers scenic, safe, and healthy connections to waterfront parks and major job centers along Lake Washington. Thanks to our partners at WSDOT and funding generated by the voter-approved King County Parks Levy, we are delivering on our promise to expand, maintain, and enhance our regional trails that connect more people to the best opportunities our spectacular region has to offer.

    Dow Constantine, King County Executive

    We are excited to open the Eastrail with our project partners King County Parks, the City of Renton and the City of Bellevue. This is an important milestone in the delivery of the I-405/Renton to Bellevue Widening and Express Toll Lanes Project. Eastrail contributes to the I-405/SR 167 corridor vision to provide travelers with a safe, sustainable, and integrated multimodal transportation system.

    Amy Scarton, WSDOT Deputy Secretary

    Outdoors for All is committed to a vision that ‘People of all abilities will have access to outdoor recreation whenever and wherever they want to.’ The opening of this segment of the Eastrail is a powerful testament to the value of that vision. People with and without disabilities will benefit from this trail for years to come..

    Ed Bronsdon, Executive Director, Outdoors for All Foundation

    I am so excited for this beautiful new section of Eastrail in south Bellevue. Thanks to King County Parks and WSDOT, not only is this the longest paved stretch of Eastrail in Bellevue to date, it makes it even easier to ride or walk to one of our favorite places in the city: Newcastle Beach Park. I look forward to the day when all 42 miles of Eastrail are developed, including the iconic Wilburton Trestle. With its interconnections to the Mountains to Sound Greenway trail and the city’s future Grand Connection project, we are creating a spectacular recreation and mobility link for the entire region.

    Lynne Robinson, Bellevue Mayor

    It’s thrilling to watch Eastrail’s progress continue as we connect and complete the trail segments that make up this iconic 42-mile regional corridor. Partnerships, like King County and WSDOT’s, are essential to Eastrail’s success and they illustrate how effective we can be when government works together.

    Claudia Balducci, King County Council Chair

    This long-anticipated segment of Eastrail provides communities of Renton, Bellevue, Newcastle, and beyond with fantastic access to outdoor recreation with beautiful lake views. I’m grateful to the staff at King County Parks for their hard work on this project and am excited to see it enjoyed by the public.

    Reagan Dunn, King County Council

    I am excited to see these 2.5 miles of Eastrail that are now newly paved! Continued activation of this trail corridor will bring so many opportunities for recreation and for residents to build community and improve their health.

    Kathy Lambert, King County Council

    For more information, contact:

    Doug Williams, Department of Natural Resources and Parks, 206-447-4543