The Washington State Legislature passed the 2017-2019 capital budget in the opening weeks of the 2018 session. The budget contains $500,000 in funding towards retrofitting the ERC’s Wilburton Trestle. Governor Inslee swiftly signed the capital budget into law on January 19.
This result represents the culmination of many months of advocacy efforts by the EGA around the need for a multi-agency funding collaboration – including from the state – to enable construction-retrofit of the Trestle by 2020. In October 2016, Governor Inslee pledged $5M from the state for the Wilburton Trestle by 2020. With $2.5 million secured in the 2017-2019 transportation budget, this additional $500,000 demonstrates that we’re inching close to the total required to retrofit the Wilburton Trestle.
The Wilburton Trestle is the EGA’s top funding priority because it advances our goal of Kirkland to Renton connectivity via the Eastside Rail Corridor (ERC) trail by 2020. The Wilburton Trestle is the largest single gap in the interim Kirkland to Renton trail, both in terms of cost and segment length. Retrofitting the Wilburton Trestle with a trail for people to walk, bike, and enjoy the expansive views, along the full 1,000 ft Trestle which once carried Burlington Northern trains, is estimated to cost $13.2M.
As new segments of the ERC open this spring, and excitement for Kirkland to Renton connectivity builds, the EGA will continue to seek out opportunities to fully fund the Wilburton Trestle.