Eastrail Partners was honored to host representatives from State, County, and local governments, along with a broad coalition of business and community members in Woodinville this past Wednesday to celebrate projects that will receive funding from the Move Ahead Washington legislation as well as the newest section of the Eastrail from Kirkland to Woodinville.
From Wilmot Gateway Park in Woodinville, the group of legislative champions could see the future site where the Eastrail will cross into downtown Woodinville, and eventually continue across a refurbished highway overpass into Snohomish County. This critical project will not only provide additional trail connections into the Woodinville business district, but also fill a crucial gap in the regional trail network once the Eastrail is complete.
The group of legislators was welcomed by Woodinville Mayor Mike Millman, who spoke on the exciting improvements this funding will bring to Woodinville, enhancing both active transportation and tourism in the city. King County Councilmember Sarah Perry highlighted that “Eastrail is more than a trail – it’s a place to foster community, equity, and sustainability for our region.”
Washington State Sen. Marko Liias, Chair of the Transportation Committee, noted “that one of the biggest barriers to more people biking and walking is safe, accessible infrastructure.”
State Rep. Mark Fey shared the ways in which the trail will support active transportation, providing “a great additional mode for people to get to work, to recreate,” and a pathway to “more green space and walkable communities.”
State Rep. Vandana Slatter discussed the ways that the Eastrail will connect communities and enhance access to public spaces, while praising her colleagues for their work in passing the Move Ahead legislation, as well as the coordination between different Eastrail entities pushing for a connected corridor.
After the speaking event, several legislators and community partners joined a 4.5 mile bike ride to the first Woodinville segment of the Eastrail. At the new hawk signal on 145th, Woodinville Councilmember Ardnt, Kirkland Councilmember Pascale, and King County Parks highlighted the ways that Eastrail communities are collaborating to bring connections and new infrastructure. Kirkland Councilmember Jon Pascal shared excitement for being able to bike all the way to Woodinville from Kirkland on a continuous series of trails, and talked about additional improvements to come in the future.
It was a wonderful morning to share our gratitude for the many elected officials who helped champion the Eastrail and secure 29M in funding for future trail projects. In addition to the speakers, State Sen. Manka Dhingra, State Rep. Davina Duerr, and State Rep. Mike Ramos all joined to celebrate the funding.
The Move Ahead legislation includes funding for three major Eastrail projects, pictured above. In Renton, funding will help extend the current southern terminus of the trail to Gene Coulon Park. In Bellevue, funding will support several major projects, including building out the I-90 steel bridge. And in Woodinville, the funding will help complete the King County stretch of trail with improvements to the SR 202 Trestle, an important step for future connections to Snohomish County to the north.
We are confident that this funding – along with future investments from community and business supporters – will help us achieve our vision of a fully connected Eastrail that is for everyone, every day.