King County’s regional trail network is a great way to beat the traffic and ride to work, but soon a new bridge on the Eastside Rail Corridor (ERC) will allow you to literally ride, walk, or run over the traffic.
In early 2020, we will kick off a partnership with the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) to build several new paved miles of the ERC trail including a critical bridge over Interstate 405 in Bellevue. This project is scheduled to break ground by spring 2020, with the goal to be complete in 2021.
Miles of New Paved Trail South of I-90
We hope runners, walkers, and bikers will love the new wide paved ERC trail coming just south of I-90. WSDOT will expand I-405 as part of the I-405 Renton to Bellevue Widening and Express Toll Lanes Project. This will require the removal of the existing Lake Loop Trail. To compensate for the removal of the existing trail, WSDOT will construct 2.5 miles of paved ERC trail south of I-90 between Coal Creek Parkway Southeast and Ripley Lane (near the VMAC Seahawks training facility).
This section will be the first paved section of the ERC owned by King County. The trail will be 12 feet wide with a two-foot gravel shoulder on one side, and six feet of gravel on the other. If you are a walker who would like some more space between you and cyclists you will enjoy this wide gravel shoulder.
In order to construct this 2.5 miles of paved trail, we will have to temporarily close down the existing gravel ERC trail in this segment, but don’t worry. The Lake Loop Trail will remain open until the paved ERC trail is complete so you will still be able to pedal or run on a trail in this area.
New Bridge Over I-405
North of I-90 WSDOT will also be constructing a new trail bridge over I-405 near the Mercer Slough. This bridge will be near the location of the former Wilburton train tunnel that once served as a freight train crossing over the southbound lanes of I-405. This tunnel was demolished in 2008 after train operations had stopped and WSDOT needed to expand the freeway.
By the end of 2021 trail users will be able to take this new I-405 bridge and continue north across the historic Wilburton Trestle.
Connecting these New Trail Sections
How will runners or bikers connect between the new I-405 bridge and the new trail south of I-90? Until the completion of a future trail bridge over I-90 the route follows Lake Washington BLVD and 118th Ave SE for a mile between Coal Creek Parkway and Southeast 32nd Street in Bellevue. When funding becomes available we look forward to completing this trail connection all the way from Renton to Bellevue.