The last interruption of a completely off-road bicycle ride from the town of Snohomish to the Skagit County line is gone.
Crews in Arlington have rerouted and finished paving a one-mile segment of the Centennial Trail that previously had shared 67th Avenue with cars and trucks as it approached downtown from the south.
The completion of that work means bicyclists can ride the Centennial Trail for about 30 miles from 1st Street in Snohomish to the historic Nagashima Barn on the border with Skagit County without veering into traffic.
The new trail work was completed as part of the larger 67th Avenue final phase construction project, which began last spring. The city’s public works director says the overall project should be finished by Friday, except for some landscaping.
The Centennial Trail generally follows the abandoned right-of-way of the Burlington Northern Railway. Approaching Arlington from the south, bicyclists emerge from a wooded area and follow a paved trail alongside 67th Avenue.
Previously, bicyclists would encounter an “End of Trail” sign at the intersection of 204th Street. The route, no longer a trail, headed north on 67th Avenue until it met a trail in Lebanon Park at the edge of the old downtown.
Now, bicyclists are directed to turn right onto a trail on the north side of 204th Street. Another sign directs them to turn left and follow a new trail that goes behind the Taylor industrial Park for about 0.2 miles. It’s basically a short zig-zag. The trail then meets 67th Avenue again and rolls alongside until it crosses Lebanon Street and enters the park.
By going in back of the Taylor Industrial Park, the trail avoids conflicts between trucks entering the industrial area and trail users.
When I rode through there on Tuesday, a railroad crossing just north of the Lebanon Street intersection was the only thing that obviously needed to be completed. The city is working with Burlington Northern on that issue, says City Councilwoman Marilyn Oertle.
Arlington Public Works Director Jim Kelly told the Arlington Times:
“One of the greatest things has been seeing people finally able to use that section of the trail, from pedestrians to joggers to bikers.”
Now the Snohomish County Trail Coalition is looking to complete other links in the trail system. Board member Sarah Arney told the Arlington Times:
“Coalition members are now campaigning for the link of the trail to Monroe from Snohomish, and are enthusiastic about the county’s focus on the extension from Snohomish to Bothell and Woodinville. We’re optimistic that all the links will get done eventually, and thrilled that Arlington is showcasing one of the best sections of the Centennial Trail.”