If you think it’s hard to get around because of the road construction in the Seattle area this summer, the situation isn’t much different on the bike trails.
I can think of at least three bike trail closures around Seattle right now — Green River Trail, Cedar River Trail, and East Lake Sammamish Trail. Only one of them is closed for bike trail improvements.
[Update: Thanks to Rich for telling us about a fourth one, the rehabilitation of a bridge on the Snoqualmie Valley Trail. The project started in early August and will end in November. The closure affects a 1,500-foot stretch of the trail over Griffin Creek, about two miles south of Carnation. More details at King County parks. ]
Green River Trail
This past week I visited the Green River Trail that runs roughly between Tukwila and Kent. Unfortunately, I discovered it is still closed — at least in the northern section — because of sandbags.
As the trail runs atop a riverside levee, it was sandbagged in October 2009 to guard against possible flooding of the Green River due to a faulty upriver dam.
Officials say that dam is safe now, and the King County Flood Control District announced this spring that the $5.8 million job of removing the sandbags would get underway soon.
I checked the Flood Control District’s website before heading down there on Thursday, and read this July 10 headline: “Sandbag removal signals Green River Valley is open for access again.”
That sounded like it was done. But if I had kept reading, I would have discovered that Kent had started removing the 20,000 sandbags within its borders, a job that’s going to take until the end of September. Nothing about Tukwila and Auburn, other cities with sandbags on the river.
Fortunately, the Interurban Trail runs more or less parallel with the Green River Trail, although it’s far less scenic. Let’s hope the entire Green River Trail reopens soon.
Cedar River Trail
Another trail that’s closed for other work is the Cedar River Trail out toward Maple Valley.
The King County Parks department says the half-mile section between 16916 Renton-Maple Valley Rd. S.E., to the trail’s intersection at 201st Place Southeast will be closed through late August or early September.
The closure runs roughly between the crossing under Jones Road and the Cedar Grove Road intersection. There’s no detour, other than using Route 169, aka Maple Valley Road. For many, this busy road is definitely not an option.
The work is being done to protect the shoreline from erosion, which threatens a major fiber optic cable. A couple of years ago, the county did other work along the trail to protect it from river erosion.
King County suggests checking out its other trails.
East Lake Sammamish Trail
Work is currently underway to pave a 2.2-mile section of this trail that runs between Issaquah and Remond. It’s is expected to reopen in May 2013. The detour is the adjacent East Lake Sammamish Parkway.
Most of the rail-to-trail is crushed limestone, but the county is paving it section-by-section.
The job in Issaquah entails building a 12-foot wide asphalt trail with gravel shoulders, concrete sidewalk connections, retaining walls, fences, signs and landscaping for the surrounding wetlands.
Earlier, a 2-mile section adjacent to Marymoor Park in Redmond was closed for asphalt paving between May and November last year. That job was finished early.
Design for a North Sammamish segment began in December, with construction scheduled to begin in 2013.