History of flight remembered in new Renton bike trail

Crews are dodging the recent rainy weather to complete the second phase of the Lake Washington Trail – South Lake Connector, also known as the Sam Chastain Trail, in Renton.

The trail runs for less than a mile just west of Logan Avenue North and will complete a connection between a bike lane that runs along road to Coulon Park on the north and the Cedar River Trail in the south (see map below).

As they near completion, workers are installing castings in the bike path that will call attention to the proximity of the local airfield and Boeing's history in the area, as well as the connection between flight and bicycling.

Look Up

At left, you can make out the message embedded across the trail (still protected by chain link fence). It reads “Look Up,” and refers to planes in the sky.

What follows is a series of 70 to 75 castings that will be embedded in nine different bands crossing the trail to recall the history of flight in the area.

The castings are the creation of Judith and Daniel Caldwell, artists at the Art Community in White Center. In a YouTube video shot by the city, Judith says the inspiration for the castings was the adjacent airport and the Boeing plant up the street.

“It talks about the history of aviation in Renton, the airplanes that you'd see flying in and out of the airfield … and the way that bicycles and aviation have dovetailed in their development, especially the Wright Brothers and the development of manned flight.”

Stage 2

The bike trail is officially a “shared-use trail” that runs between Sixth Street and Cedar River Trail. It will be separated from Logan Avenue North by a 5-foot wide landscaped buffer.

The total cost of the project is about $1.75 million, according to the city's project website. The city received two federal enhancement grants totaling $1.5 million for design and construction.

It is not opened yet.

Missing link

Completion will enable cyclists to avoid pedestrians on a narrow section of the Cedar River Trail that runs on the east side of the river up to Sixth Street.

At the southern terminus they can either turn right onto the airport road that is part of the South Lake Washington loop, or turn left to head southeast toward Maple Valley on the Cedar River Trail.

That trail still has the posted 10 mph speed limit for bicycles and several dismount zones in the city limits, however.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2011/03/29/history-of-flight-remembered-in-new-renton-bike-trail/

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