Bellevue, WA – Today, Amazon announced they will contribute $7.5 million to two important Eastrail projects.
Eastrail Partners is honored to have secured this funding from Amazon and we are grateful for their support and partnership towards realizing the vision for a fully connected Eastrail.
Built on a historic railroad line, Eastrail runs 42 miles on the east side of Lake Washington, from Renton to Snohomish County, creating unique opportunities for the diverse communities and businesses of the Eastside. Currently under development with several sections open, Eastrail will provide non-motorized access to transit options and to greenspace, decreasing carbon emissions; produce positive health outcomes for all populations; boost economic growth; and improve equity through access.
Eastrail is more than a trail – it is a place to foster community and sustainability for our region.
Amazon’s leadership investment is the last-in funding for the iconic Wilburton Trestle and the Wilburton trail section in Bellevue.
The transformed century-old, 1,000-foot-long Trestle will offer skyline views of Bellevue, connections to other regional trails and high-capacity transit, and will be an icon for Eastrail. The total project cost to convert the 100-foot-tall Wilburton Trestle into a segment of Eastrail is $32 million. The Wilburton trail section connects north from the Trestle to the NE 8 th St. Eastrail Overcrossing and the Sound Transit East Link light rail station under construction. Amazon’s combined $7.5 million in investments include $5 million to complete Wilburton Trestle and $2.5 million to complete the Wilburton Trail segment.
“This exceptional trail opportunity requires exceptional community, governmental and private sector support. This leadership investment by Amazon demonstrates the important role business can play in the multifaceted Eastrail effort,” shared Katherine Hollis, executive director of Eastrail Partners.
“Amazon understands how important Eastrail is for community and businesses alike through transit options and public greenspace. We are grateful for their partnership and support, both in this lead capital investment and their support of Eastrail Partners as an organization.”
Patrick Miller, Amazon’s Director of Global Real Estate and Facilities for the Puget Sound region, and Eastrail Partners board member, shares: “Amazon is excited to help complete these two key segments on the Eastrail and bring this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reality. It is an honor to be part of this public-private partnership.”
The many funding partnerships that have made the Wilburton Trestle possible reflect the broad engagement needed for Eastrail’s success. Other funding for this King County project includes first private-sector funds from Kaiser Permanente and funding from City of Bellevue, US Department of Transportation, the State of Washington, and King County Parks. Other important private sector support of Eastrail include REI and Facebook’s $2 million investment in 2020 to connect Eastrail and the 520 Trail Corridor in northeast Bellevue.
Eastrail Partners celebrates Amazon’s investment and eagerly awaits the Wilburton Trestle and trail segment in Bellevue to open. At the same time, there are still significant gaps in realizing a fully connected Eastrail from Renton to Woodinville and into Snohomish, and we ask our governmental partners to continue working to fill those gaps.