King County’s Eastside to receive major multi-modal transportation investment

Private and public investors will help build a regional biking and walking trail to mitigate traffic

A multi-modal transportation project is coming to fruition in King County’s Eastside after receiving some investment help from private and public partners.

The Eastrail project aims to convert roughly 42 miles of abandoned railway spanning across the region into walking, running and biking trails.

County Councilmember Claudia Balducci, said the vision for this project went from being a “longshot” idea to an entirely feasible one with help from private investments from companies like REI, Amazon, Facebook and Kaiser-Permanente.

She said the trail will be one part of a “robust backbone of non-motorized transportation” which will allow folks to commute to work, travel for recreation and get around the county without having to be stuck in I-405 traffic.

The trail will provide access to commercial districts, large employers, healthcare providers and to four Sound Transit East Link stations currently under construction.

Balducci said a big chunk of the $7.5 million in funding raised by private partners will be used to restore the historic Wilburton Trestle rail bridge that has sustained rotting and other degradation after years of abandonment.

She also said U.S. Rep Adam Smith (D-Wash) has earmarked additional millions in funding in the federal infrastructure bill that has yet to pass in Congress.

The project is expected to be complete by 2026.