Undercrossing opens to link north and south Issaquah

December 21, 2010

Crews completed the Interstate 90 Undercrossing last week and opened the north-south connector to traffic Dec. 16. By Greg Farrar

The link between north and south Issaquah opened to traffic Dec. 16, after years of planning and months of construction.

The long-planned Interstate 90 Undercrossing — Fourth Avenue Northwest — runs from a traffic signal at the post office along Northwest Gilman Boulevard, connects into the rail corridor behind Gilman Station, forms a T-shaped intersection at Southeast 62nd Street, continues along 221st Place Southeast and then terminates at Southeast 56th Street.

Crews experienced a last-minute delay last month, after the installation of bridge safety railings lasted longer than expected. The city planned to open the connector around Dec. 6, but the slowdown prompted planners to update the schedule.

The link supplements traffic-clogged Front Street North and state Route 900, the other connectors between north and south Issaquah. Both older crossings also provide access to the interstate, but the combination of local traffic and vehicles from the on- and off-ramps add to the gridlock.

Because part of the undercrossing is located within the King County East Lake Sammamish Trail Corridor, the link also serves as a multimodal facility.

Pickering Trail also crosses Fourth Avenue Northwest at a signalized crossing, and then connects to the East Lake Sammamish Trail.

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Help Issaquah food pantry at Thanksgiving Turkey Trot

November 21, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. Nov. 21, 2010

Burn some calories — and help the Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank — before the Thanksgiving feast.

Join the inaugural running of the Issaquah Turkey Trot, a 5K scheduled for 9 a.m. Thursday, the morning of the holiday. Proceeds from the run benefit the Issaquah food pantry.

Learn more about the 5K — and register — here.

The route starts at the Pickering Barn parking lot and follows the Issaquah Creek and East Lake Sammamish trails.

The registration cost for adults and children older than 8 is $20.

Spot spawning salmon along Lake Sammamish tributaries

October 21, 2010

NEW — 2 p.m. Oct. 21, 2010

The streams branching from Lake Sammamish offer Issaquah residents a chance to see salmon battling the current in order to spawn upstream.

The freshwater kokanee salmon should start emerging from the lake and into tributary creeks to spawn later in the fall.

Starting early next month, look for kokanee from the East Lake Sammamish Trail crossing of Ebright Creek in Sammamish, across from 148 E. Lake Sammamish Parkway S.E.

Or spot kokanee from the 185th Place Southeast crossing of Lewis Creek in Issaquah.

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Off The Press

September 14, 2010

David Hayes Press reporter

I’ve been reading books lately like they’re going out of style. (With all the e-book readers on the market, they just might be.)

I’ve read the gamut, from biographies (Ozzy Osborne) and social commentary (The Obama Diaries) to historical fiction (the Temeraire series, featuring a dragon air corps during the Napoleonic wars) and nonfiction (“Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator Joseph McCarthy,” fascinating). Read more

Plan to upgrade East Lake Sammamish Trail proceeds

September 7, 2010

King County has applied for a city permit to upgrade the East Lake Sammamish Trail through Issaquah. The city has notified nearby property owners.

Plans to improve the interim trail would call for paving the gravel trail and increasing the width to 12 feet of asphalt, plus gravel shoulders on both sides.

Because the project could impact wetlands, the plans call for wetlands to be restored in Lake Sammamish State Park to offset the construction.

The county plans to conduct the Issaquah improvements in two phases. The initial phase calls for the second from Northwest Gilman Boulevard to 56th Avenue Northwest, plus the wetland work in the state park. The final phase includes 56th Avenue Northwest to Southeast 43rd Way.

The trail is located within the trail corridor along the former Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad, from Northwest Gilman Boulevard northward along Lake Sammamish to the city line.

Comment on the project by Sept. 10. Send comments to city Senior Planner Marion O’Brien at P.O. Box 1307, Issaquah, WA 98027, or e-mail mariono@ci.issaquah.wa.us.

Plan to upgrade East Lake Sammamish Trail proceeds

September 4, 2010

NEW — 8 a.m. Sept. 4, 2010

King County has applied for a city permit to upgrade East Lake Sammamish Trail through Issaquah. The city has notified nearby property owners.

Plans to improve the interim trail would call for paving the gravel trail and increasing the width to 12 feet of asphalt, plus gravel shoulders on both sides.

Because the project could impact wetlands, the plans call for wetlands to be restored in Lake Sammamish State Park to offset the construction.

Read more

Construction begins on state Route 900 trail link

August 10, 2010

The trail connector across Interstate 90 at state Route 900 is about to see the first stages of what is planned to be an eight-month project, city Public Works Engineering Director Bob Brock said.

Construction will build a freestanding structure for a nonmotorized trail from 12th Avenue Northwest to the I-90 off-ramp along the west side of state Route 900. The city of Issaquah has awarded a $4.4 million contract with C.A. Carey Corp. that allows for 180 working days, Brock said.

The connector is meant to allow for a safer path between the East Lake Sammamish Trail and the Issaquah Transit Center. The total price tag for the project is about $6 million.

Members of the community have differing opinions on the value, necessity and safety of the project, however.

Steve Williams, president of the Issaquah Alps Trails Club, said he has concerns about the volume of traffic in the area that pedestrians may now be drawn to. There are five lanes of traffic to cross at the I-90 eastbound exit, and drivers often try to make free right turns. That means they are looking left as they are moving right across a pedestrian walkway, he said. Read more

County outlines plan for Lake Sammamish Trail

June 1, 2010

The plan to upgrade a King County trail snaking along Lake Sammamish from Issaquah to Redmond inched forward last week, as the county released a key environmental report for the project.

The county released the environmental impact statement May 28. The report details the effect trail development could have on water quality, nearby wetlands, fish and wildlife, and adjacent properties.

Residents can review the document at the Issaquah and Sammamish libraries. The final document will be available for 30 days.

East Lake Sammamish Trail stretches from Northwest Gilman Boulevard in Issaquah and north to Redmond. Issaquah and Redmond sections of the interim trail opened in March 2004. The interim portion through Sammamish opened in 2006. The trail meanders through a former railroad corridor along the east side of the lake.

Plans call for the county to replace the existing gravel trail with asphalt and a separated soft-surface strip for pedestrians and equestrians. Rules prohibit equestrians from using the existing trail.

Design for the Issaquah segment should be completed by October. Construction on the Redmond portion should start in late November or early December.

The upgrade should complete a missing link in a 44-mile urban regional trail corridor connected to the Burke-Gilman Trail, the Sammamish River Trail and the Issaquah High Point Trail.

Planners released a draft environmental report in late 2006. The design team then addressed questions and comments from trail users and county residents in the final environmental report.

The county prepared the final report in conjunction with the Federal Highway Administration and the state Department of Transportation in order to meet federal and state environmental requirements.

Get involved

King County planners released the final environmental impact statement for a planned redevelopment of East Lake Sammamish Trail. Read the report at the Issaquah Library, 10 W. Sunset Way, or the Sammamish Library, 825 228th Ave. N.E.

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