The amazing rail trail — which mostly has a very bikeable hardpack gravel surface — will be closed from June 1 through October 31. The closure is needed so the county can repair “a damaged structure along the Snoqualmie River that protects a state highway, a fiber optic line, and a King County regional trail from river erosion,” according to a press release.
But here’s the really bad part: There will be no detour. The section of the Carnation Duvall Road that runs next to the trail is busy and has little-to-no shoulder, so you will likely want to look for a longer (and likely hillier) route. If you’re walking or on a horse (this is a popular equestrian trail), well, I don’t know what to tell you. Neither does Biking Bis, who knows the area much better than I do:
Avoiding the blockage in this case would require use of State Route 203 for approximately 3.3 miles, an inadvisable route because of truck traffic and lack of adequate road shoulders for walking or bicycling.
For people who are just heading out for recreation or adventure, this closure is a bummer. But for people who live in Duvall or Carnation who don’t or can’t drive, this closure could be a serious problem. And having no detour or construction access option, anyone trying to get through the area could end up in a dangerous spot.
King County Parks provides the following unhelpful advice: “… no trail detour is available. Trail users are encouraged to take advantage of other portions of King County Parks’ 175-mile regional trail system.”
But our regional trail system is not just for recreation. It’s not just a linear park. It’s important transportation infrastructure. People depend on it, especially in areas where the only other option is to drive. Not everyone can afford a car or is able to drive, and there is no bus service between Duvall and Carnation.
This isn’t just a matter of semantics. If the Snoqualmie Valley Trail is a park, then King County Parks can just close it and say, “Go to another park!” But if it is transportation infrastructure, then King County should find a way to provide a detour or a shuttle service or construction zone escort service of some kind to maintain that connection.
Vital repairs to a damaged structure along the Snoqualmie River that protects a state highway, a fiber optic line, and a King County regional trail from river erosion is expected to begin in early June.
Work to rebuild the Sinnema Quaale Upper Revetment between Carnation and Duvall requires closing a stretch of the Snoqualmie Valley Trail from approximately 1-½ miles south of Northeast 124th Street to 2 miles north of the Stillwater Natural Area.
The trail closure is expected to run from June 1 to Oct. 31, and no trail detour is available. Trail users are encouraged to take advantage of other portions of King County Parks’ 175-mile regional trail system.
The aging revetment – which absorbs and deflects the Snoqualmie River’s erosive energy – has been repeatedly damaged by flooding.
Rebuilding the revetment includes reconstructing about 750 feet of bank, and rebuilding approximately 1,100 feet of the adjacent trail. The $6.3 million project is being funded primarily by the King County Flood Control District, with King County Parks providing funding for rebuilding the trail.