The state will fund construction of a new trail through the Arboretum, connecting E Madison Street and the Montlake neighborhood.
Part of the 520 Bridge Replacement Project, the trail will provide a biking and walking route near the historic—but overcrowded—Lake Washington Boulevard. It will also someday connect to the redesigned Montlake lid and trail connections planned as part of the 520 Bridge project, including a trail on the bridge across Lake Washington.
We wrote about the trail idea previously, but now it has secured funding in the early stages of the project, the Montlaker reports. Overall, the state still needs to find about $2 billion to fund the highway replacement.
Walking and biking in the Washington Park Arboretum will be easier in the coming years, with today’s announcement of a new multi-use trail to be funded with SR 520 mitigation funding. The trail will connect Madison Street to the south with Foster Island Road to the north in this first project phase. Eventually the trail will extend to the Arboretum’s North Entry expansion and the Montlake Lid when 520 replacement work is finished.
The 12-foot wide trail will meander east of the Lake Washington Blvd thoroughfare, passing the Arboretum’s new Pacific Connections garden, Azalea Way and the Wilcox Bridge. The trail will be paved with semi-rough material to create a bit of noise to alert pedestrians of on-coming cyclists. With this facility, the park will have a new 2-mile loop including the pedestrian-only Arboretum Drive.
This $7.8 million project will be the largest single donation to the Arboretum in its history, said Jack Collins, Arboretum Botanical Garden Committee board member. Funding will come from the $300 million federal TIFIA loan secured last fall.