It will probably be May before a closed, 2.6-mile section of the East Lake Sammamish Trail is paved and reopened for bicycle and pedestrian traffic.
Then you better rush out and get in your bike rides on the 11-mile rail-trail that runs between Redmond and Issaquah by mid-summer, because that’s when another 1.2-mile section will be shut down for paving.
King County is upgrading the crushed limestone surface of the trail to smooth asphalt. It’s a job that’s been split up into segments and started 4 years ago.
So far, crews have completed the 1.2-mile northern-most section in Redmond, and a 2.2-mile southern-most segment in Issaquah.
The North Sammamish segment has been closed for work since April 2014 and runs between 187th Avenue NE to Inglewood Hill Road.
Currently, crews are working on paving and landscaping, as well as installing fencing and signage. Gina Auld, capital project manager, said they intend to reopen the trail in May.
This may have been the most difficult section of the trail to upgrade, as 42 retaining walls had to be built to hold back the hillside. Also, stairs to recreational properties and fish-friendly culverts were built, and contractors did this while maintaining access for trailside homeowners.
The South Sammamish segment that’s up to bat next runs from SE 43rd Way to SE 33rd Street and is currently in design.
The last segment to be paved, South Sammamish segment B, is 3.6 miles long and runs from SE 33rd Street to Ingewood Hill Road. That’s currently in planning stages.
Wider and smoother
When complete, the trail will be widened to a 10- to 12-foot paved surface with 2-foot gravel shoulders on both sides. The sight-lines will be improved for trail users and that asphalt surface will be silky smooth. It will complete a paved trail surface from Issaquah to Seattle, a distance of more than 40 miles. The paved corridor will comprise the Burke-Gilman Trail, Sammamish River Trail, Marymoor Connector, East Lake Sammamish Trail and the Issaquah-Preston Trail.
In the meantime, users must detour onto East Lake Sammamish Parkway to get around these construction zones.
For more information on the project and links to plans, see the capital improvements website for the East Lake Sammamish Trail. Also, check out the trail construction FAQ.