On January 18, King County Parks hosted a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the beginning of construction for the next phase of the Foothills Trail, the bridge over the White River that will connect the trail in Enumclaw with the trail in the City of Buckley. When completed, the steel bridge will create a 22-mile-long, paved, nonmotorized path that extends all the way from Enumclaw to Puyallup. Upon completion of the project, Foothills Trail visitors will be able to enjoy scenic water crossings over the White River and Boise Creek. The new bridge will connect the two sides of the trail for recreation and transportation to local schools, business centers, and civic centers, linking rural areas to urban centers.
King County Parks Director Warren Jimenez was joined by King County Executive Dow Constantine and Pierce County Executive Bruce Dammeier for the celebration. Also in attendance were Buckley Mayor Beau Burkett, Former Mayor of Enumclaw Liz Reynolds, and Shayla Miles, Executive Director of the Foothills Rails-to-Trails Coalition to speak at the event.
Former Mayor of Enumclaw Liz Reynolds speaks at the groundbreaking with King County Executive Dow Constantine; Pierce County Executive Bruce Dammeier; Shayla Miles, Executive Director of the Foothills Rails-to-Trails Coalition; Former Mayor of Buckley Pat Johnson; and Buckley Mayor Beau Burkett.
Completing the new bridge will provide an alternative emergency route for pedestrians and vehicles in the event the SR 410 bridge at Buckley becomes impassable, for example, during a catastrophic event. Without an alternative crossing, access to the nearest hospital (currently located in Enumclaw) could take up to thirty minutes or longer during an emergency. This additional emergency access can mean the difference between life and death for treating people with life-threatening injuries.
This project is funded in part by the voter-approved 2020-2025 King County Parks, Recreation, Trails, and Open Space Levy, as well as a grant from the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program and contributions from the Foothills Rails-to-Trails Coalition, the City of Buckley, and Pierce County.
Mayor Beau Burkett in the background with Parks Director Warren Jimenez; Pierce County Executive Bruce Dammeier; King County Executive Dow Constantine; Former Mayor of Enumclaw Liz Reynolds; Former Mayor of Buckley Pat Johnson, and Shayla Miles, Executive Director of the Foothills Rails-to-Trails Coalition.
King County Parks completed the initial segment in Enumclaw from 252nd Ave SE to the historic Boise Creek Bridge during the Spring of 2021. The remaining segment from the historic Boise Creek Bridge and over the White River began in late 2022 with an estimated completion date in 2024.
In April 2018, Pierce County celebrated the completion of another three miles of the Foothills Trail between South Prairie and Buckley. The project included the construction of 3,000 linear feet of pin-pile bridge and the replacement of the switchback bridge that was damaged in 2014.