From left

From left

Redmond portion of East Lake Sammamish Trail complete and open for public use

On Monday morning, dozens of people braved the cold and rain to gather just off of Northeast 70th Street in Redmond to celebrate the completion of the Redmond portion of the East Lake Sammamish Trail (ELST).

On Monday morning, dozens of people braved the cold and rain to gather just off of Northeast 70th Street in Redmond to celebrate the completion of the Redmond portion of the East Lake Sammamish Trail (ELST).

Construction on the 1.2-mile-long section of paved trail began in May and was completed about a month ahead of schedule and cost $1.86 million — more than $1.5 million less than the originally estimated cost of $3.4 million.

King County parks Director Kevin Brown said they were able to save so much money because the current climate for bid projects is very good, largely due to the economy. He said the savings will go toward other trail projects around the county.

According to the King County website, funding for the ELST is provided in part by the 2008-13 voter-approved Proposition 2 Parks Expansion Levy.

The 11-mile trail is located on the east side of Lake Sammamish and was previously a portion of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) railroad corridor. It runs through Redmond, Sammamish and Issaquah. Brown, who spoke during the ribbon-cutting ceremony, said the county acquired the trail’s right-of-way about 15 years ago.

The Redmond portion begins at Northeast 70th Street and ends at the Redmond-Sammamish border at 187th Avenue Northeast. The Redmond construction also included a 77-space parking lot for quick and easy access to the ELST as well as creating proper drainage and a soft shoulder and installing vegetation and fencing.

City of Redmond parks Director Craig Larsen said because the trail stretches across three cities with three different permitting processes, King County has broken down the project by jurisdiction.

“We’re happy to be the first one,” he said about the Redmond portion’s completion.

Larsen also spoke during the ceremony and thanked the county’s commitment to the project, acknowledging the long process.

“Trail projects are always difficult,” he said.

Larsen said completing this portion of the ELST will tie in nicely with the city’s Redmond Central Connector (RCC) as they hope to eventually connect the two trails. Once these trails are completed, people will be able to walk, jog or bike from downtown Issaquah to Redmond on a paved trail.

In addition to Larsen and Brown, speakers during the ceremony were King County Deputy Executive Fred Jarrett, King County Council member Larry Phillips, and Cascade Bicycle Club Executive Director Chuck Ayers. Each spoke about how the trail will help connect the region and give people transportation options.

“It’s a way to provide people with getting around (traffic) congestion,” said Jarrett.

Additionally, the speakers said the paved ELST will offer a safe and accessible trail for bicyclists, skaters, pedestrians, joggers and other trail users.

The trail will also encourage people to get out and exercise, but Ayers said one of the biggest things the ELST will do is connect the region’s neighbors.

“(Voters) have given us a treasure of a neighborhood gift,” he said. “It belongs to everybody.”

The county’s next step in the ELST project is the Issaquah end of the trail, which will begin spring 2012. Larsen said this portion is about a mile long, like the Redmond stretch. The remaining nine or so miles of the ELST is in Sammamish, which Larsen said is why it is the final step: Projects are completed as funding comes in and raising funds for the large Sammamish portion will take time.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@redmond-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.redmond-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in News

Teaser
King County approves emergency grant after U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade

Washington is expecting an influx of people seeking abortions from out of state.

Fedor Osipov, 15, flips into Steel Lake in Federal Way during last year's heatwave on June 28, 2021. Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing
Heatwave expected to hit King County

Temperatures will likely reach 90 degrees Fahrenheit on Sunday, June 26, and Monday, June 27.

Derby Days. Courtesy of Experience Redmond.
Mark your calendars for Redmond’s annual Derby Days celebration

Attendees should expect two days of action-packed fun from July 8-9.

File photo.
Former Bellevue teacher sentenced in federal court over child pornography

Department of Justice says the man had 1,764 images of child sexual abuse in his possession.

Photo courtesy of King County.
Officials urge caution when swimming this summer

Cold spring temperatures and larger than normal snowpack have created dangerous conditions

File photo.
Bellevue man charged in 2019 assault that left a man dead on a Redmond roadway

After a two-year investigation, Bradley Hibbard was arrested for murder in the second degree.

File photo
Fireworks ban takes effect this year in unincorporated King County

The new law does not extend to cities, which each have their own regulations around fireworks.

Vanesha Hari. Courtesy of Workforce Career Readiness.
Redmond High School student receives national recognition for excellence

From a young age, Vanesha Hari wanted to leave the world in a better place than she found it.

A semiautomatic handgun with a safety cable lock that prevents loading ammunition. (Sound Publishing file photo)
Large-capacity ammo magazine sales ban starts soon in Washington

Starting July 1, a 10-round capacity becomes the limit for sales. Meanwhile, “there is a rush on magazine purchasing.”

Most Read