Snohomish finishes its link in cross-county trail

SNOHOMISH — The city is celebrating a milestone that took 15 years to achieve.

This Saturday, Snohomish will mark the completion of the Centennial Trail with guest speakers, a small health fair and an opportunity for people to walk the trail.

The event is set to start at 9 a.m. at the intersection of Lincoln Avenue and Third Street, near the Snohomish Library. People are encouraged to bring their bicycles to ride the trail or to walk it instead.

The dedication ceremony is scheduled for 10 a.m. with city officials making speeches.

Snohomish spent the past 15 years working on acquiring property, repaving the trail and doing landscape work to connect the city’s two-thirds of a mile trail to the existing Centennial Trail, project manager Ann Stanton said.

“It’s good to see the former Indian trail return to a walking trail after 120 years as a railroad corridor,” Stanton said.

The city had to buy land from the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad and also paid for surveys. The city had help with only paying about $100,000 of the $2.5 million project, with the rest coming from federal funds, Stanton said.

The city plans to add a traffic light at Second Street and Lincoln Avenue to help trail users cross the road.

The completed work means that 21 of the 27 miles of Centennial Trail are now finished. The only work still left to do is to fill a gap between Bryant, just north of Arlington, and the Skagit County line. This work is scheduled to happen this summer, said Hal Gausman, deputy director for Snohomish County parks.

“Its going to be amazing when it’s completed,” Gausman said.

At the Saturday event, Snohomish is also celebrating being named a Bronze Bicycle Friendly Community from a national advocacy group, The League of American Bicyclists. The group promotes bicycling for fun, fitness and transportation.

Snohomish is the first city in the county to be recognized by the group.

It was the first time the city applied for the recognition, which it could mean getting grant money if Snohomish receives a Gold rating the next time the group awards them, four years from now.

The work on the Centennial Trail was a factor in getting this recognition, economic development manager Debbie Emge said.

“The trail is really a catalyst for the city to become a bicyclist-friendly community,” Emge said.

Alejandro Dominguez: 425-339-3422; adominguez@heraldnet.com.

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