Issaquah section of East Lake Sammamish Trail opens Tuesday

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Hmmm, baby. Just what I like to see — a freshly paved bike trail. Just got to wait a couple of days for it to open.

Newly paved section of East Lake Sammamish Trail opens Tuesday.

Newly paved section of East Lake Sammamish Trail opens Tuesday.

This is the Issaquah Trailhead for the East Lake Sammamish Trail that rolls out between Issaquah and Redmond.

The 11-mile trail opened as a gravel rail-trail in 2006, and King County returning to pave portions of it over the past couple of years. Because it generally runs through a narrow right-of-way, contractors have to close down the trail to work on it.

This 2.2-mile newly paved section runs from Gilman Boulevard in Issaquah to just north of the entrance to Lake Sammamish State Park at Southeast 43rd Way.

It’s scheduled to open with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11 a.m. Tuesday at this trailhead on Gilman Boulevard in Issaquah.

An adjacent one-way street in Issaquah, 4th Avenue Northwest, has been striped so trail users can park their cars there.

Work on the Issaquah section began last May and was expected to take a year. Some problems with compaction delayed paving some parts until late April.

As the paving marches on, the next section slated for paving is the “North Sammamish” stretch for 2.6 miles from Inglewood Hill Road north to 187th Avenue. That work is scheduled to begin in February 2014, giving trail users use of the full trail again for about seven months.

The longest segment — the 4.8 miles from Inglewood Hill Road south to Southeast 43rd Way — will undergo  design work beginning in 2014, with construction sometime later. At least two more parking lots will be going in as well.

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It’s likely that those two sections will be closed when their turn for paving comes up. The shoulder of East Lake Sammamish Boulevard is the preferred detour route.

When the paving is complete, bicyclists will have a paved route some 50 miles long from Golden Gardens on the Puget Sound to the Highlands Drive interchange at Interstate 90 where the trail becomes packed dirt.

See the East Lake Sammamish Trail update.

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  1. Hey, this is GREAT news! Being able to ride a road bike on that portion of the trail means riders can avoid the worst part of E Lk Samm Pkwy when riding around the lake. So happy!

  2. Yep. It will be nice to have that section open for riding around Lake Sammamish, especially for those going in the preferable counter-clockwise direction.

    It sounds like the Sammamish section will be closed for 10 to 12 months when construction starts early next year, though, and then there’s the road construction on West Lake Sammamish Boulevard.

    Better do our rides around the lake now.

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