The 1-mile section of Whitehorse Trail washed out by the devastating Oso landslide in March will be restored with funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The rail-trail corridor rolls along the North Fork Stillaguamish River for 27 miles between Arlington and Darrington. The trail, still covered in the original railroad ballast, was damaged in the March 22 landslide that swept away nearly 50 homes, killed 41 people, and blocked State Route 530.
Even before the landslide, Snohomish County had posted signs along the undeveloped route notifying users of hazards. Since the washout, only a six-mile section of the Whitehorse Trail from the Darrington Town Hall to Swede Haven Road is officially opened.
Announcing the FEMA grant, Snohomish County Executive John Lovick said that work on the Whitehorse Trail will probably get underway late in the summer.
Reopening State Route 530 between Arlington and Darrington is the first priority, Lovick said. “But we’re anxious to start work on the Whitehorse Trail too. We know how important the trail will be once it’s developed, and that the community is eager to see it restored.”
He said engineers are in the early stages of determining how to remove the slide material and restore the trail.