Issaquah hatchery could collect fewer salmon eggs as cost-cutting measure

September 27, 2011

The unsettled economy is threatening the chinook-salmon spawning program at the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery.

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife has proposed reducing the number of chinook eggs collected at Issaquah and other state-run hatcheries to cut costs as the state faces a $1.4 billion shortfall.

The proposal recommends for the local hatchery to collect about 1.3 million eggs — about 1 million fewer than hatchery crews planned to collect.

“Issaquah is not a sole target in this,” said Doug Hatfield, hatchery operations manager for the region encompassing Issaquah. “This is a decision that the agency put forth to distribute this impact throughout Puget Sound and on the coast.”

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$6.2 million pedestrian bridge opens after delays

July 5, 2011

Protesters carry signs to decry the cost of a pedestrian bridge across Interstate 90 the day the bridge opened, July 1. By Tim Pfarr

The pedestrian bridge at Interstate 90 and state Route 900 opened July 1, months after the expected completed date.

Delays related to the bridge pilings and inclement weather slowed construction on the $6.2 million project.

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Cougar Mountain, Duthie Hill park projects proceed

July 5, 2011

Improvements to King County and state recreation lands near Issaquah inched ahead last week, as conservation officials outlined plans to spend $42 million for projects statewide.

The plan from the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office includes funding for projects on Cougar and Tiger mountains, in Duthie Hill Park and along the East Lake Sammamish Trail.

State legislators approved funding for the projects in a last-minute push as a special session ended in late May. The agencies proposing the projects promised matching funds to complete construction.

The state Recreation and Conservation Office presented a complete list of projects at a hearing in Olympia on June 22.

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Contentious Interstate 90 pedestrian bridge to open Friday

June 30, 2011

NEW — 8 a.m. June 30, 2011

The pedestrian bridge at Interstate 90 and state Route 900 is due to open Friday, months after the expected completed date.

Delays related to the bridge pilings and inclement weather slowed construction on the $6.2 million project. The connector separates bicyclists and pedestrians from the busy roadway. The structure includes a 12-foot-wide pedestrian bridge across the westbound interstate on-ramp and a 10-foot-wide pedestrian crossing on the state Route 900 overpass.

The city contributed $354,000 to the connector. Federal and Sound Transit dollars covered the remainder.

The bridge is due to open by late Friday, after more than a decade of planning and sometimes-contentious discussions among city officials, transit advocates and trails enthusiasts.

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Cougar Mountain, Duthie Hill parks projects proceed

June 23, 2011

NEW — 8 a.m. June 23, 2011

Improvements to King County and state recreation lands near Issaquah inched ahead Wednesday, as conservation officials outlined plans to spend $42 million for projects statewide.

The plan from the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office includes funding for projects on Cougar and Tiger mountains, in Duthie Hill Park and along the East Lake Sammamish Trail.

State legislators approved funding for the projects in a last-minute push as a special session ended in late May. The agencies proposing the projects promised matching funds to complete construction.

The state Recreation and Conservation Office presented a complete list of projects at a hearing in Olympia on Wednesday.

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Striping starts as connector nears completion

June 21, 2011

Motorists should prepare for ramp closures as crews stripe lanes along state Route 900.

The striping comes as construction nears completion on a pedestrian connector along busy state Route 900 and the westbound Interstate 90 on-ramp. The connector could open to pedestrians and bicyclists by late June.

Starting June 20, contractors started painting the bridges and paving the trail from 12th Avenue Northwest.

The painting requires the interstate on-ramp to be closed during the evening. The contractor plans to post detours for motorists.

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Construction starts on Darst Park pedestrian path

June 14, 2011

Crews are scheduled to start building a pedestrian path through Emily Darst Park soon.

The city awarded a contract to Sammamish-based WB Contracting for the project, part of the mitigation for the Interstate 90 Undercrossing project. Plans called for crews to upgrade the park to replace wetlands destroyed during construction of the undercrossing and a pedestrian connector at the interstate and state Route 900.

The path should be completed by June 30. Planners issued a notice for the contractor to proceed May 19.

The park encompasses 12 acres on the east bank of Issaquah Creek, south of Pickering Barn and north of the interstate. The regional East Lake Sammamish Regional Trail follows the park’s eastern boundary and the Pickering Trail traverses the property.

Legislators preserve dollars for trail projects

May 31, 2011

Plans to acquire land for a Cougar Mountain trail and upgrade trail bridges in the Tiger Mountain State Forest received a last-minute boost from state lawmakers before a special legislative session ended late May 25.

Before sending the $32 billion state budget to Gov. Chris Gregoire, legislators allocated $42 million to the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program. The slice for the Issaquah area amounts to more than $1.5 million.

In addition to the Issaquah Alps projects, lawmakers directed funds to Duthie Hill Park and the East Lake Sammamish Trail.

The proposed budget recommends $500,000 for King County to acquire land for Precipice Trail near Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park and $247,870 to upgrade Tiger Mountain trail bridges. In addition, the proposal recommends $500,000 for the East Lake Sammamish Trail project and $317,477 for Duthie Hill Park.

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Legislators preserve dollars for Issaquah outdoor recreation projects

May 26, 2011

NEW — 10:30 a.m. May 26, 2011

Plans to acquire land for a Cougar Mountain trail and upgrade trail bridges in Tiger Mountain State Forest received a last-minute boost from state lawmakers before a special legislative session ended Wednesday night.

Before sending the $32 billion budget to Gov. Chris Gregoire, legislators allocated $42 million to the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program for more than 50 projects statewide. In addition to the Issaquah Alps projects, lawmakers directed funds to Duthie Hill Park and the East Lake Sammamish Trail.

The proposed budget recommends $500,000 for King County to acquire land for Precipice Trail near Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park and $247,870 to upgrade Tiger Mountain trail bridges. In addition, the proposal recommends $500,000 for the county’s East Lake Sammamish Trail project and $317,477 for county-run Duthie Hill Park.

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State budget proposal outlines upgrades for Issaquah trails

April 12, 2011

Outdoor recreation and wildlife-protection projects in the Issaquah area received a boost in the proposed budget from the state House of Representatives, but hurdles remain before crews can break ground.

The proposed House budget includes a $500,000 Cougar Mountain Park-Precipice Trail grant, for King County to expand Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park, create a buffer and create a gateway from Issaquah to the park. (King County acquired additional land for the park late last year.)

Funds from the $500,000 East Lake Sammamish Trail grant could help King County expand and pave the trail along the lake from Redmond to Issaquah.

The proposal includes a $317,000 Duthie Hill Park trailhead development grant to enable the county to expand the trailhead at the popular mountain-biking destination.

Bridges along Tiger Mountain State Forest trails could also be replaced using the $247,870 proposed for trail upgrades in the forest.

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