Interurban trail upgrades en route —

Interurban trail upgrades en route

Oscar Halpert, The Enterprise Newspaper - Edmonds Montlake Edition, July 11, 2008
Interurban trail upgrades en route

A view from the Interurban Trail in southeast Edmonds looking toward the PUD substation in Mountlake Terrace. Mountlake Terrace and Edmonds plan improvements to the Interurban Trail, easing the connectivity for cyclists between Edmonds and Shoreline

Improvements to the Interurban Trail coming by late next year should help cyclists navigate their way from Shoreline's border with Mountlake Terrace into Edmonds.

The trail, a paved descendent of the Interurban trolley route that ran from Ballard to Bellingham until 1939, is separated at various points by streets.

The Seattle leg of the trail continues into Shoreline, where it ends at 244th Avenue Southwest -- the King-Snohomish County line.

Walkers and cyclists who wish to continue along the route to the north have to navigate 76th Street Southwest, which has sidewalks on both sides and where cars park on both sides of the street.

The trail picks up again in Mountlake Terrace, just off of 226th Street Southwest, and heads north through Lynnwood and into Everett.

Under terms of a $174,497.24 contract approved by the Mountlake Terrace City Council July 7, Kemper Construction will connect the trail from 226th Place West to the city's border with Edmonds at 228th Street Southwest. The project had been included in the city's 2007-08 bienniel budget.

Though the bid was $32,478 above the $142,019 budgeted, the city expects to make up the shortfall through money saved on earlier street overlay projects. A Transportation Enhancement Grant will also reimburse the city for $111,700.

"What this will do is establish an actual paved path that maneuvers along the end of the (PUD) substation," said Public Works Director Curt Brees.

Kemper Construction will build something called a "bulb-out"-- a narrowing of the road -- pushing the curb line into the parking area, Brees said.

The result, he said, will mean improved access and visibility for pedestrians and cyclists who use the route.

"This would complete the section through Mountlake Terrace," he said.

The city of Edmonds, meanwhile, plans its own improvements connecting Shoreline's Interurban terminus with Edmonds' border to Mountlake Terrace.

Edmonds spent some time acquiring right-of-way in order to build bike lanes from 244th Street Southwest to Mountlake Terrace, said Edmonds transportation engineer Bertrand Hauss.

In a $1 million project that has yet to be designed, Edmonds will add bike lanes from the intersection of 76th Avenue West and 244th Street Southwest north along both sides of 76th Avenue West. The lanes will continue along McAleer Way, a side street off 76th Avenue West that connects to the old rail line and 74th Avenue West near Lake Ballinger, he said.

Edmonds is applying for a grant to cover 50 percent of the approximately $1 million project budget through the state's Recreation and Conservation Office, Hauss said.

"We could actually start construction in the fall of '09" he said.


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