The long-awaited Mountains-to-Sound Trail begins construction June 20, with crews working from north to south. The new trail will run from Jose Rizal Bridge just south of I-90 and east of I-5 at Dr. Jose Rizal Park, and extend south to South Holgate Street. Construction is expected to be complete in September.
The idea for the trail was born nearly 20 years ago with the Mountains to Sound Greenway effort to save nearby forests and open spaces just outside of the growing city and connect them with a series of trails. The entire Greenway is a huge area stretching 100 miles.The goal was to preserve the natural spaces for everyone to enjoy – from the mountains all the way to Puget Sound – and weave together the urban and the wild.
This new half-mile portion of the connected trails used Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles to ensure safety for trail users. The new 12-feet-wide trail will be level and paved, with improved drainage, to ensure accessibility and smooth travel; have a fence on both sides to prevent pets and children from wandering into the brush; enjoy full illumination from 25-foot tall lights all along the pathway; include new retaining walls and drainage systems to prevent erosion; and have added directional signs among other things.
At present, the area just has some WSDOT access roads and areas of wear from foot traffic, but no official trail to take advantage of the vast city views.
Construction of the trail, which is primarilly on state-owned right-of-way property, is managed by the Washington State Department of Transportation. This $2.58 million project was fully funded as of last year, enabling construction. Federal and state dollars are contributing as well as $1.8 million from the Seattle Pro Parks Levy.