Preston trail connector, a missing link in greenway, opens Thursday

December 15, 2010

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 8 a.m. Dec. 15, 2010

Join state Department of Transportation and the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust on Thursday to open a trail connector between High Point and Preston.

The ceremony is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Thursday along the north side of Interstate 90 at Exit 20.

The organizations completed a 1.25-mile trail connector last month. The piece connects the Issaquah to High Point Trail almost to the trailhead for the Preston-Snoqualmie Trail and completes a missing link in the greenway.

The connector also means hikers and other trail users no longer need to detour onto High Point Way or the interstate. The link is part of the county regional trails system.

REI President and CEO Sally Jewell and attorney Bill Chapman, a founding member of the greenway trust, Issaquah Mayor Ava Frisinger and local officials plan to address participants at the opening. The group also plans to plant a tree to commemorate the opening of the trail link.

The state spent $4.7 million to complete the connector — $3.6 million transferred from a state parks account and another $1.1 million from the state Department of Transportation. State legislators approved the dollars for the trail connector in 2007.

Crews started construction on the connector project in June. The team constructed a pedestrian bridge and upgraded a former railroad trestle across the East Fork of Issaquah Creek to prevent trail users from disturbing the creek and nearby wetlands.

The project also required retaining walls to be constructed along steeper sections. The walls helped reduce the overall footprint of the trail and environmental impact.

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