Washington state legislators finally approved a state capital budget last week that includes millions of dollars for bicycle trail improvements.
The 2017-2019 budget was drafted for passage in June 2017, but dysfunction at the Olympic junction created an impasse between Republicans and Democrats, delaying final approval until this past Thursday.
The SSB 6090 budget summary that contains $4.2 billion in improvements to such infrastructure as schools, parks, and trails can be tracked down here.
The amounts represent the state share of funding for these projects. Local or federal funds may also be tapped.
One of the biggest projects is for acquisition of land along the John Wayne Pioneer Trail. The budget allows $2 million for land acquisition, as long as adjacent landowners can cross or drive on the trail for agricultural purposes. Future costs are projected at $8 million.
The long-sought rehabilitation of the Renslow Trestle across I-90 east of Ellensburg is also in the budget. The abandoned trestle was part of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad that later became the John Wayne Pioneer Trail through Iron Horse State Park.
When the railroad abandoned railroad corridor in the 1980s, it dismantled part of the bridge. Trail users must take a detour on local roads to avoid the bridge where it crosses I-90. The Iron Horse Renslow Trestle Decking and Railing project is funded for $1.2 million.
Another big project is work on the Whitehorse Trail in Snohomish County, funded at $1.1 million. The 9.4-mile trail runs from Arlington to Darrington along the Skykomish River and through Oso landslide zone. The Centennial Trail Coalition says the money will pay for installing a new packed gravel surface this year.
Meanwhile, another $1 million went toward the project to extend Centennial Trail southward from its trailhead in Snohomish.
The restoration of an abandoned railroad tunnel on the Spruce Railroad Trail in Clallam County is getting $649,000 in the state budget.
The trail is part of an abandoned railroad that ran along the north side of Lake Crescent near Port Angeles. Railroad owners dynamited the tunnels to close them after abandoning the corridor. It’s part of the Olympic Discovery Trail that will eventually run between Forks and Port Townsend.
Other trail projects
Trail and bridge development for the Foothills Trail in King County received $2.8 million. The project would extend the Foothills Trail from its current terminus south of Enumclaw to meet up with the trail in Buckley, Pierce County. The project includes a crossing over the White River.
The Klickitat Trail Bridging the Final Gap — $1.202 million
Willapa Hills Trail Develop Safe Multi-Use Trail Crossing at SR 6 — $401,000
Appleway Trail Amenities (Spokane Valley) — $556,000
Columbia River Trail (Washougal) — $1 million
Ebey Waterfront Trail and Shoreline Access (Marysville) 1,000
South Gorge Trail (Spokane) — $250,000
Willows Road Regional Trail Connection (Kirkland) — $1.4 million
Lake to Sound Trail Development (Wilburton Trestle, King County) — $500,000
North Creek Regional Trail (Snohomish County) — $1 million
Ferry County Rail Trail Phase 4 (Ferry County) — $82,000
South Gorge Trail (Spokane) — $307,000
Check the document (SSB 6090) for other hiking trails that received funding, as well as alternate projects.