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Biking Bis: State working to open more John Wayne Trail tunnels

Two years after reopening the 2.3-mile Snoqualmie Tunnel on the John Wayne Pioneer Trail, contractors are now working on reopening two more of the four still-closed tunnels along the trail route.

Biking Bis has the details:

Contractors are working to repair two tunnels on the John Wayne Pioneer Trail that have been closed since 2009 when inspectors found falling debris hazards inside of them.

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State repairing Tunnel 49 east of Hyak
The two former railroad tunnels — Numbers 48 and 49 on the old Chicago-Milwaukee-St. Paul-Pacific Railroad, commonly known as the Milwaukee Road — are located east of Snoqualmie Pass between Hyak and Easton.
They’re posted with “no trespassing” signs and detours signs.
In all, the state closed five tunnels on the John Wayne Pioneer Trail in 2009. The rails-to-trails path runs through Washington’s Iron Horse State Park from about Rattlesnake Lake near North Bend to the Columbia River.

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Gene also reports that the much-loved Bus-Up 90 has suspended service, citing new state park fees.

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8 responses to “Biking Bis: State working to open more John Wayne Trail tunnels”

  1. Gary

    $3Million? While I think this is a great idea, and probably comes from a different budget than the Seattle bike facilites, it seems a lot to spend on just some tunnels. On the otherhand having a cross state trail is way cool.

    1. Doug

      The trail is a tough ride east of the Columbia. Mostly the original ballast. Some parts go though private property. The trestle over the Columbia is closed. It would take a lot more than than just $3 million to get a true cross-state trail. Not likely to happen anytime soon, if ever.

  2. Doug

    Great! I do wish they’d fix the tunnels that necessitate the kind-of-sucky 15 mile detour. Last September I tried to use SR10, which runs along he river on he bank opposite tetraul, but that was closed for bridge repair!

    Of course, there’s nothing really stopping anyone from going through those tunnels now, other than the occasional ranger on patrol.

  3. Doug Bostrom

    The demise of “bus-up” seems a mixed deal. On the one hand, people will be riding more while on the other hand people will be riding more. In the old scenario, riders could experience the tunnel once while in the new situation they can ride through twice.

    Viewed from the perspective of Agate Pass Transportation’s description (“a service to trail users who wanted to enjoy Cascade Mountain greenery and the longest hike and bike tunnel in North America”), the cessation of the shuttle means trail users will experience twice the fun for less cost.

    1. asdf

      The real problems with the Bus-Up service were:

      1) The fares were too expensive. If you already own a car, simply driving up to the top of the pass and back is way cheaper than riding the bus.

      2) The starting point of Rattlesnake Lake was too far from Seattle, and didn’t connect with any public transportation. If you have to have a car to get to it, it’s not much point. While it is possible to reach Rattlesnake Lake by bike and bus (554->209->Snoqualmie Valley Trail), it’s about a 3-hour trip each way, which leaves no time to ride the John Wayne trail too without either an extremely long day or an overnight stay. A service that left from Seattle or Issaquah would have been a lot more useful.

      3) Frequency was very limited (I think, every 2 hours), meaning lots of waiting.

      1. Doug Bostrom

        I’ve done the trip a couple of times– on each occasion in perfectly lousy cycling practice/condition– and find it hard to understand why somebody would need or want a boost from Rattlesnake up to the Pass. This isn’t Pike’s Peak or Mauna Kea we’re talking about, just a railway grade. Tiny effort is required to get up the barely noticeable incline; even for the terminally unconditioned such as myself a sore ass is the worst possible risk*.

        Start early, go slow, take a nap at the top.

        *Or dead batteries– be ready for delays incurred while helping people who’ve run out of electrons.

      2. A

        Why do automobile users consistently calculate the cost of using an automobile as the cost of the gasoline used and quit there?

  4. […] wrote recently about new state efforts to open even more tunnels along the trail route. But even as it is, Russ and Laura say the trail is […]

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