30 days of biking: Wilburton railroad trestle

Unable to take a bike ride later on Tuesday, I started my day with a 10-mile loop ride after a cup of coffee and a banana.

I headed along Lake Washington again, then headed east under the imposing Wilburton trestle in Bellevue.

One day, this abandoned railway could be a bike trail that stretches from Renton to Snohomish, a distance of 42 miles.

Riding a bike across the trestle would be a blast. Imagine the views across to the Cascades and the Olympia Mountains.

The trestle was originally built in 1904 and rebuilt four times, the last time in 1943. The concrete pillars were installed so a road could cut through in 1974.

When I crossed in a dinner train several years ago, the conductor said the safety of the trestle was tested twice daily, once when the train headed north to Redmond and once when it returned. That didn’t give us a lot of comfort.

The trestle soars 102 feet above the road and stretches for 975 feet. An article at Wikipedia says it’s the longest wooden trestle in the Pacific Northwest.

Abandoned by the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad a few years ago, the Port of Seattle bought it. Plans call for a bike trail, a commuter rail line, or both.

Furthest along are plans in Kirkland to transform the tracks there into a classic rails-to-trails project. Read more at “Kirkland city manager stumps for trail project along old rail line.”

Update: Kirkland finalizes purchase of rail corridor.

30 Days of Biking

Total days — 10/10

Total miles — 139

Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2012/04/10/30-days-of-biking-wilburton-railroad-trestle/

2 comments

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  1. Wow, that’s an amazing structure! Would make for an incredible trail…

  2. This could be our own West Coast High Line Park too.

  1. […] planners are working on ways incorporate the I-90 crossing, the I-405 crossing, and the scenic Wilburton Trestle. Part of the route will share right-of-way with the new light rail extension from Seattle to […]

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