Preston trail opens to close gap in Mountains to Sound Greenway

December 16, 2010

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 4 p.m. Dec. 16, 2010

Officials and trail advocates gathered in Preston on Thursday morning to open a key link in the Mountains to Sound Greenway trail network.

The state Department of Transportation and the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust completed the 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 gap in the greenway. Before crews completed the project, hikers and other trail users had to detour onto road shoulders for the route.

“This new trail isn’t just about providing a safe connection between two regional trails; it’s also about protecting the environment,” Construction Project Engineer John Chi said.

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.

Crews planted more than 200 Douglas fir and Western red cedar trees — and more than 5,200 shrubs — as part of the project. Plans call for additional trees and shrubs to be planted in January.

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