In July we celebrated the Totem Lake Connector bridge, the latest completed Eastrail project that moves us closer to a fully-connected Eastrail! Opened July 8th to the public, this pedestrian and bicycle bridge goes over the busy Totem Lake and NE 124th intersections, providing a safe, accessible route for trail users. It connects the two ends of the 5.75-mile Cross Kirkland Corridor section of the Eastrail that were separated by Totem Lake Boulevard and Northeast 124th Street.
The bridge opening was celebrated with a community event that included a ribbon cutting, two bike rides led by Eastrail Partners, music, food, and a petting zoo. Here’s a video of the event taken by our friends at Best Side Cycling.
Another important Eastrail project that fills a trail gap is the Northup Connector in North Bellevue. This ramp will connect the Eastrail with the SR 520 Trail Corridor. Previously, these two routes appeared to connect on a map but actually didn’t because they’re on different grades: the Eastrail runs underneath the 520 Trail Corridor. Thanks to the Northup Connector ramp, this problem will be eliminated.
We’re proud to have worked with Meta, REI, and King County Councilmember Claudia Balducci to secure funding for this project. Join us for a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the Northup Connector on October 20th. More details to come.
About a mile south in Bellevue, the NE 8th Street Overcrossing is slated for completion early 2024. This bridge will connect the Eastrail with the Wilburton Link Light Rail Station. When completed, it will be a 21 minute light rail ride from this station to the International District in Seattle. From there, riders can continue toward the University of Washington or transfer to reach SeaTac airport.
This overcrossing will be a beautiful addition to the Eastrail with a metal artistic cladding wrapping around its main span. In addition, several art installations will be incorporated into the bridge that honor the area’s Japanese American heritage.
The last project we’re excited to see move forward is the Wilburton Trestle in Bellevue. This project will transform the existing trestle over I-405 into a safe crossing for trail users. Eastrail Partners worked with Amazon to secure their historic $7.5M investment in this project, and along with last-in funding via the Move Ahead WA package, this project is fully-funded with construction scheduled for completion by the end of 2025.
The trestle is the largest of its kind in the Pacific Northwest and one of the few remaining structures that were typical of the original transcontinental rail system. It’s nearly 1,000 feet long and rises more than 100 feet above the ground. Upon project completion, the trestle is expected to be one of the most popular segments of the Eastrail.