Screenshot from Claudia Balducci’s Twitter account

Screenshot from Claudia Balducci’s Twitter account

King County Council approves unique public-private partnership for Eastrail project

Funding approved to construct key Eastrail/520 Trail Corridor connector in Bellevue.

On Dec. 7, the King County Council authorized an agreement between King County and the nonprofit community-based organization Eastrail Partners for the funding, design, and construction of a 400-foot long trail connection between the 520 Trail Corridor and Eastrail in Bellevue.

The King County and Eastrail Partners agreement represents a significant step in a year-long effort by King County Council Chair Claudia Balducci, Eastrail Partners, King County Parks, REI Co-op and Meta, formerly Facebook, to complete the Northup Connector, a currently unfinished gap that will link Eastrail and the 520 Trail Corridor together at Bellevue’s Northup Way and serve as a gateway into the City of Bellevue and its fast-growing Spring District neighborhood.

“At the crossroads of two major regional trails and the doorstep of an exciting new neighborhood, the Northup Connector will open up all sorts of new transportation possibilities for our region,” King County Council Chair Claudia Balducci said. “The agreement authorized today allows us to build Eastrail faster by leveraging the skills and expertise of our community partners. It’s a win-win for trail users, taxpayers, and King County as a whole”

In September 2020, REI and Meta invested $1 million each in Eastrail infrastructure and in November 2020 Balducci included an amendment to the King County’s 2021-2022 budget to provide the remaining or “last in” funding needed to complete the estimated $2.5 million Northup Connector project.

This innovative agreement will allow Eastrail Partners, the nonprofit established to catalyze the development and completion of the 42-mile Eastrail, to manage, design and construct the Northup Connector leveraging the expertise of its board members, while allowing King County Parks the opportunity to focus its energies on other segments of Eastrail, including the Wilburton Trestle.

“This project is a holistic example of our organization’s role in the Eastrail effort of securing private sector investment for projects and accelerating timelines for a fully connected trail,” Eastrail Partners executive director Katherine Hollis shared. “With deep board expertise in real estate and development via KG Investment Properties, SRM Development, Wright Runstad and others, we look forward to constructing and opening the Northup Connector more quickly than otherwise, with exceptional quality and effective use of funds.”

The agreement approved on Dec. 7 by Council will now allow Eastrail Partners to put the project out to bid in time for the 2022 construction season.




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@kirklandreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kirklandreporter.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

tsr
Juanita High School extends remote learning due to COVID exposures

LWSD has been advised that all students who were on campus may have had a COVID-19 exposure.

Screenshot
Issaquah and Bellevue police chase ends with stolen car in river

The two suspects have been arrested and are awaiting charges with King County.

File photo
County auditor finds agencies fall short on emergency services

The auditor’s office recommends clarifying responsibilities and accountability for effective planning.

During a news conference Thursday, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee explains the deployment of the National Guard to hospitals to assist with the coronavirus surge. (TVW) 20220113
Surgeries paused, National Guard deployed to assist hospitals

King County health officials say 1 in 7 ICU and acute-care hospital beds are occupied by a COVID patient.

Screenshot from City of Kent Facebook Page
Trash piles up in King County neighborhoods after agency postpones service for weeks

Collection company initially cited weather as the reason, but now a strike interferes.

Screenshot from King County Council meeting
King County Council approves new leadership, committee structure and assignments

The leadership positions and committee assignments will last through 2022.

Photo courtesy of Lake Washington School District
Lake Washington School District places three levies on the Feb. 8 ballot

The exisiting levies, which expire in February, help fully fund the 57 schools within the district.

File photo
Widespread burnout among healthcare workers prompts change at hospitals

Healthcare workers unions are supporting HB 1868 and companion bill SB 5715.

Most Read