Eastside residents and commuters moved a step closer to having a regional trail system and future commuter rail options under the proposed King County plan to acquire nearly 20 miles of the Burlington Northern Eastside Rail Corridor.
The legislation, which County Executive Dow Constantine sent to the King County Council on Monday, dovetails with the City of Redmond's plans to build a linear park along a portion of the former rail line that was purchased by the city in 2010, as well as of part of the line there.
“This agreement fulfills our promise to the region of preserving a public corridor through the most urbanized areas of east King County with our regional trail network,” Constantine said in a statement, transmitting the proposed purchase and sale agreement to the council.
Under the proposal, which the Port of Seattle recently approved, King County would have three years to reimburse the Port for the purchase price of up to $15.8 million. In exchange, King County would receive 15.6 miles of fee ownership and 3.9 miles of easement ownership in the corridor, through unincorporated King County and the cities of Renton, Bellevue, Kirkland and Woodinville. The proposed agreement would credit King County for $1.9 million it paid to the Port in 2009 for a multi-purpose easement in the corridor.
Meanwhile, construction on the first phase of the Redmond Central Connector is expected to begin sometime later this year.
—Caitlin Moran contributed to this report.