The City of Kenmore celebrated another step toward connectivity and its goal of creating a safer city for pedestrians and bicyclists last week.
During a ribbon-cutting ceremony Aug. 23, city officials reopened the Tolt Trail after making improvements to the once-dirt path.
The trail improvements, which start at the intersection of 68th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 185th Street, include raising the path, creating proper drainage and paving the path to 71st Avenue Northeast, which connects to Kenmore Elementary School.
The $120,000 project came in under budget by about $50,000 and had been in the works for many years, Mayor David Baker said.
The Tolt Trail connects two main arterials in Kenmore — 68th Avenue Northeast and 73rd Avenue Northeast. It’ll bring another connection to downtown and city parks.
“So it’ll be a great neighborhood connector,” City Manager Rob Karlinsey said.
It is just one piece of Kenmore’s efforts to create a more walkable and safe city, and is another step toward the city’s Target Zero goal.
The City of Kenmore adopted the Target Zero Initiative in April 2014 with the goal of achieving zero pedestrians and bicyclists fatalities and serious injuries in Kenmore by 2025.
Work began on the trail in May, Kenmore project manager Zack Richardson said.
In the course of the work, crew members noticed a duck’s nest in the wetland. Crews rerouted work to give the ducklings a chance to hatch and move along before finishing the trail.
Before improvements were made, the previous trail collected water in the center, creating a large puddle for most of the year.
“It was kind of awful nine months of the year,” city council member Nigel Herbig said.
Improving the trail had been one of Herbig’s pet projects. He said it would have been nice to have this path improved when his daughter attended Kenmore Elementary School.
Baker said this is just one step in connecting more of the city. He hopes to see it extended to 80th Street and ultimately the Burke-Gilman Trail.
“We’d like to get more of a trail network in Kenmore,” he said.
The city contracted with Trimaxx Construction to make improvements to the trail.
The city had to work with Seattle Public Utilities, which owns the property where the trail is located. Seattle Public Utilities has infrastructure under the trail.
“We worked closely with Kenmore to make sure the trail use is compatible with our water system operational needs,” said Sheila Strehle, senior policy advisor for Seattle Public Utilities. “We were glad to be a good neighbor.”