City, state, and federal leaders came together today, despite some very rainy weather, to celebrate the completion of the latest Mountains to Sound Greenway Trail segment in Bellevue.
The new pedestrian and bicycle trail, which parallels Interstate 90, makes it safer and more convenient for people to walk, ride, and roll through Bellevue’s busy Factoria neighborhood. This segment also helps fill an important gap in the regional trail system within the entire Mountains to Sound Greenway National Heritage Area.
“This is a major improvement for Bellevue’s pedestrian and bicycle network, and it will also be a tremendous benefit for regional users,” said Bellevue Mayor Lynne Robinson. “Thanks to our federal, state, and regional partners for making this project a reality. It would not have been possible without them.”
The latest completed segment extends the trail from 132nd Avenue Southeast to 142nd Place Southeast, which leads to the bridge over I-90 to Bellevue College. A previous segment, from I-405 to 132nd Avenue Southeast, was completed in early 2021. Together, the 1.2-mile city construction project, valued at $27 million, fills a significant portion of the overall 3.6-mile trail gap that runs east-west through Bellevue.
Elected officials taking part in the physically-distanced, live event included U.S. Rep. Adam Smith (9th District), U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen (2nd District) and State Rep. Vandana Slatter (48th District). Also attending were Bellevue Deputy Jared Nieuwenhuis and councilmembers Jeremy Barksdale, Jennifer Robertson, and Janice Zahn.
Additional participants included a staff member for U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene (1st District); Bill Chapman, board member with the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust; and Alex Krieg, director of access and integration with Sound Transit.
Chapman applauded the many partner organizations, funders, elected officials, and especially Bellevue engineer Chris Masek who has managed this project for years.
“It’s hard to go out and bike if you can’t safely get across busy Factoria Boulevard,” said Chapman in his remarks at the celebration. “This trail desperately needed a bridge, and today, we have a bridge after a decade of working on this wonderful project with the City of Bellevue and Washington State Department of Transportation. The Greenway Trust is so delighted to see this piece completed, and to be celebrating it with everyone today.”
Early work on filling the “Eastgate Gap” in Bellevue began when the Greenway Trust obtained a National Scenic Byways grant in 2011. Additional funding came from Bellevue and the Puget Sound Regional Council, with construction funds from the State Legislature.
Design and construction funding to complete the trail within Bellevue, from 142nd Place Southeast to Lakemont Boulevard and into Issaquah where the Greenway Trail continues, has not yet been secured.
The Bellevue segment of the trail is part of the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trail, which runs through a portion of the Mountains to Sound Greenway National Heritage Area stretching from Seattle to Ellensburg.
Information on the Bellevue trail construction project is available at BellevueWA.gov/mts-greenway