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.

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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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State proposal outlines upgrades for Issaquah trails

April 7, 2011

NEW — 10 a.m. April 7, 2011

Outdoor recreation and wildlife-protection projects in the Issaquah area received a boost in the proposed budget from the state House of Representatives.

The proposed budget includes a $500,000 Cougar Mountain Park-Precipice Trail grant, for King County to expand Cougar Mountain Park and to create a buffer to prevent pending development 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.

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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.

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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

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