County agrees to corridor trail

Preservation of the Eastside rail corridor came a step closer to reality Monday with approval by the King County Council of a key part of a plan to purchase the corridor from Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Co.

  • BY Wire Service
  • Friday, May 30, 2008 2:45pm
  • News
The Burlington Northern Santa Fe rail corridor that an history agreement would preserve begins north of Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park and skirts the new Seahawks’ headquarters

The Burlington Northern Santa Fe rail corridor that an history agreement would preserve begins north of Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park and skirts the new Seahawks’ headquarters

Dinner train

once used

the tracks

Preservation of the Eastside rail corridor came a step closer to reality Monday with approval by the King County Council of a key part of a plan to purchase the corridor from Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Co.

The plan is to use the corridor as a trail, although the corridor is “banked” for future transportation use.

For years, the track was used by the Renton-based Spirit of Washington Dinner Train for its regular runs to Woodinville. But the line was severed at the Wilburton Tunnel in Bellevue for the work to widen Interstate 405.

The three-way purchase agreement involves King County, Burlington Northern and the Port of Seattle. County Executive Ron Sims first proposed purchasing the rail corridor in 2006, but the details have changed significantly.

Under the current agreement, the Port of Seattle will buy the 42-mile corridor between Renton and Woodinville from Burlington Northern for $107 million. The county would buy an easement from the port for a trail along a 26-mile stretch for $1.9 million. That 26 miles includes a railroad spur in Redmond.

The Port of Seattle Board of Commissioners postponed action Tuesday on the agreement. A year-long public process will make recommendations on the location and design of the trail.

Over the next two months the County Council and Port of Seattle will decide the timeframe, agency participation and resources for the public process, for adoption by the council by July 15.

The agreement keeps the corridor in public ownership forever and allows for other transportation uses, such as a light-rail corridor.

“When we began this journey, I saw the benefits of bringing this regional asset into public ownership,” said County Council chair Julia Patterson, sponsor of the legislation and chair of a study by the Puget Sound Regional Council that first studied the use of the corridor.

Patterson of Seatac represents part of Renton on the County Council.

In a press release, Patterson said she looks forward to a dual use of the corridor for a trail and high-capacity transit.

“It is important that we proceed with a regional planning process with the port that is as inclusive as possible so that everyone can help determine the specifics of this regional asset,” she said.

Sims said in a press release that the agreement “had a lot of moving parts and players working to get the best outcome for residents, taxpayers, recreational trail users and the Port and BNSF.”

An earlier version of the agreement called for the county to trade King County International Airport and some Seattle property for the port-owned corridor.

The county moved to preserve the corridor so that it wouldn’t be sold piecemeal, after Burlington Northern announced in 2003 its intent to sell the corridor.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@rentonreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.rentonreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

File Photo
Data released on fireworks-related injuries in Washington

Last year fireworks caused $122,000 in damage.

File photo.
Mysterious in-home deaths of father, two daughters ruled as starvation

Written materials about fasting were found in the home; the father’s death called a suicide.

Dr. Faisal Khan. Courtesy of King County.
Dr. Faisal Khan appointed as next King County health director

Dennis Worsham will continue to serve as interim director until September 6.

Tsr
Renton spa employee accused of trying to coerce woman into prostitution, posing nude

Quyen T. Nguyen, 39, has been accused of attempted promotion of prostitution… Continue reading

Teaser
King County experts discuss extreme heat mitigation plan

The plan includes improving infrastructure and communications to prevent future disasters.

T
Public art call for South King County transit corridor

Deadline is July 13 for artists to apply to have their work in new RapidRide expansion.

Construction at Lindbergh High School is expected to last from summer 2022 to spring 2024. Image courtesy of Renton School District.
Lindbergh High School construction begins in July, will continue until 2024

The preparation phase for construction at the high school started in March 2021.

Courtesy of the Renton School District.
Renton welcomes three new principals to the school district

The principals will lead Benson Hill Elementary School, Talley High School and Hazen High School.

Most Read