To celebrate completion of the final stretch of Interurban Trail through Mountlake Terrace, the city Oct. 15 held a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Soon, Edmonds will tackle its piece, officials said.
In 2009, Edmonds expects to complete part of a $1 million project that will eventually connect Shoreline’s Interurban Trail segment with Edmonds’ border to Mountlake Terrace.
Making the Interurban Trail into a non-motorized access way has “been a dream since the mid-’70s,” said Brian McIntosh, parks and recreation director for the city of Edmonds.
“It’s a testament to a lot of people but it’s really the perseverance of a lot of people to really keep going,” he said.
The city expects to add bike lanes from the intersection of 76th Avenue West and 244th Street Southwest north along both sides of 76th Avenue West, then to 75th Avenue West near Lake Ballinger.
Now, Mountlake Terrace has finished its piece.
“For Mountlake Terrace, this is all about connecting community,” said city manager John Caulfield during a 20-minute event with about 70 people on hand, most of them elected officials or members of city committees.
This last stretch of the north-south trail, a vestige of the commuter rail line that ran between Seattle and Everett until 1939, allows pedestrians and cyclists to move seamlessly between the city’s border with Edmonds at 228th Street Southwest and 226th Place West to the south.
Until September, when contractors completed work, a Snohomish County Public Utility District substation was in the way, forcing cyclists and pedestrians to take a longer route to get where they needed to go.
A break in that blockage came with help from builder Bob Murphy, creator of the nearby Montessa Planned Unit Development. In an agreement with the city that included setting aside a small wetland preserve, Murphy agreed to pave the middle section of his development, creating a partial path next to the substation. The PUD, owner of Interurban Trail right-of-way, moved a metal fence surrounding the electrical substation further west, creating more room for cyclists and pedestrians.
“We’re a community organization, too,” said Kathy Vaughn, PUD commissioner, “and we feel it’s important to work with our local communities.”
Mountlake Terrace budgeted $174,500 to have Kemper Construction connect the trail. A Transportation Enhancement Grant reimbursed the city for $11,700 in expenses.
“This is really a personally and professionally exciting project,” said 1st District U.S. Congressman Jay Inslee. “When we open up our pathways, we also open our circulatory system. This is healthcare, right here.”
Mountlake Terrace built the first segment of its 1.3 mile Interurban Trail connection in 1998. In 2000, it built the portion that goes underneath 220th Street Southwest, said Will Van Ry, the city’s engineering services director. The Interurban Trail north of Seattle stretches from north 110th Street in Seattle to 41st Street in Everett.
He said the city’s latest goal is to connect the Interurban Trail to Mountlake Terrace’s new Transit Center, particularly the future Sound Transit bus ramp that will be built beginning in 2009 along I-5.