Even though it seems like monsoon season in the Pacific Northwest, we’ve had enough dry days for workers to finish some paving on the “north Sammamish segment” of the East Lake Sammamish Trail earlier this week.
King County Parks posted this photo of fresh asphalt on Facebook on Wednesday, but don’t plan to roll down there on your bicycle anytime soon though.
County officials say the 2.5-mile section between Northeast Inglewood Hill Road in the south and 187th Avenue Northeast in the north will probably open right on schedule in April 2015.
The segment of trail has been closed since April 2014 as crews worked to improve the trail’s foundation and install drainage culverts, retaining walls and landscaping. They’re turning the old narrow gravel path into a 12-foot-wide paved trail with good sightlines, safer crossings, and 5-foot shoulders.
It’s the latest part of the 11-mile-long rail-trail that links Issaquah and Redmond to undergo a facelift. Earlier, segments near Redmond and Issaquah were improved to top-notch trail standards.
The county acquired the abandoned right-of-way from BNSF Railroad in 1998 and opened it as a gravel path in 2006. The paving projects began in May 2011.
There are still two segments through the lakeside Sammamish community that remain to be finished.
The 1.2-mile South Sammamish segment A (Southeast 43rd Way to Southeast 33rd Street) is in design. Work is expected to begin in Spring 2015.
The final 3.6-mile South Sammamish segment B (Southeast 33rd Street to Inglewood Hill Road) is in planning stages. Work is scheduled to begin in the Spring 2016.
All the work has required trail closures with no detours; users typically use the bike lanes on East Lake Sammamish Boulevard to avoid the closed sections.
When complete, the East Lake Sammamish Trail will join a 44-mile chain of paved bike trails that roll from Golden Gardens Park in Seattle to Issaquah’s Highlands.