Budget pumps $55M into Greenway corridor projects
The state’s new capital and operating budgets will invest more than $55 million in the Mountains to Sound Greenway corridor during the next two years.
The funding through various agencies includes projects that will improve existing parks and heritage sites along the Greenway and key transportation projects.
Capital funding is now in place to repair the final two railway tunnels near Thorp in Iron Horse State Park. Washington State Parks has worked the past six years to repair five tunnels at Snoqualmie Pass, Easton and Thorp on the historic former Milwaukee Road.
The state Department of Natural Resources will build the first trail for hikers and mountain bikers into the Raging River State Forest, just south of the city of Snoqualmie. Much of this 10,000-acre state forest was conserved in 2009 by the department and King County.
The agency also received funding for recreation enhancements in the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River Valley, a popular recreation corridor. The work will include new trails and a trailhead to the Granite Lakes Trail in the lower valley, the final section of Mailbox Peak, a new trailhead at Teneriffe Falls, river access at Champion Beach, and an interpretive trail at Oxbow Loop.
An access road will be built to the state’s busiest trailhead, High Point at Tiger Mountain.
The Teanaway Community Forest will receive some funding for campground improvements, law enforcement and weed control.
A first phase of the Mountains to Sound Greenway regional trail connection through Bellevue will build a separated, off-road trail connecting the I-90 floating bridge to Bellevue College, with safety features including flyover bridges to separate bikes from cars.
The transportation budget also includes $426 million to complete the Interstate 90 Snoqualmie Pass East project. This ongoing work will expand 15 miles of National Scenic Byway on Interstate 90 from Hyak to Easton, which will be a six-lane highway with crossing structures for wildlife passage over and under the freeway.