Track restoration starts for downtown trolley
May 31, 2011
The long-awaited Issaquah Valley Trolley Project is back on track.
Officials issued a notice last month for the track rehabilitation project to start. The city has selected Lakebay-based Coast Rail to replace depleted railroad ties along the proposed trolley route from the historic Issaquah Train Depot to the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce.
The state Department of Transportation sent a railroad track specialist to the city May 6 to determine the number of timber ties in need of replacement.
In addition to the track rehabilitation, plans call for traffic signal modifications at Front Street North and Northwest Dogwood Street to accommodate the trolley. The contractor has 30 days to complete the project.
Before trolleys can run through downtown Issaquah, the decades-old tracks and trolleys must be restored.
In March, City Council members awarded a $135,274 track refurbishment contract to Coast Rail and, in the same legislation, awarded a $220,000 trolley restoration contract to Mukilteo-based Advanced Construction.
The legislation also increased the project budget to $524,700 from $517,400 to reflect the original project budget, and to account for $7,400 in additional federal funds and expenditures made to date.
The nonprofit Issaquah Valley Trolley Project is spearheading the restoration. The city oversees and administers the grant dollars used to fund the trolley project. Issaquah also owns the railroad corridor.
The trolley group leased a trolley from a Yakima organization, and ferried more than 5,000 passengers through downtown Issaquah in 2001 and 2002 in a successful test.