Don’t plan on riding your bike along the East Lake Sammamish Trail between Redmond and Issaquah anytime soon.
Two miles of the 11-mile rail-trail is still closed to travel to allow contractors to get in and finish the job that has stretched for 13 months.
King County put out a press release on Friday announcing that the section from 187th Avenue NE and the Sammamish Landing Park reopened in time for the Memorial Day weekend.
That’s only a 0.5-mile segment of the total 2.5 miles of extensive upgrades that contractors are making to the trail. The remaining 2 miles will be fully reopened in late-June, according to the county.
Several folks were using the newly opened trail on Saturday. The trail is paved from 10- or 12-feet wide, with 2 feet of gravel shoulders on each side. There are occasional benches and access to picnic shelters and docks at Sammamish Landing Park.
Anyone venturing beyond Sammamish Landing Park would find more of the freshly laid asphalt to the end of the North Sammamish segment. But it’s not worth the trouble.
One couple who ventured through that area on their bikes reported slow going. “No Trespassing” and “Construction Zone” signs are posted on temporary gates at all driveway crossings, which are numerous. They had to dismount to get around many of these blockades.
Crews will continue installing signs, fences and plants along the still-closed portion until an anticipated reopening in late June.
This won’t be the end of closures on the East Lake Sammamish Trail as more work planned before it’s a fully paved, 11-mile bike trail.
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.
Sections in Redmond and Issaquah already have been paved.