Bonding for the Eastside HOT lane corridor

There has been a flurry of news about combining 405 and 167 into a single corridor so that the State DOT could issue debt backed by future tolls and accelerate the improvements they’d like to make on those two roads.  The same logic would apply to the bike infrastructure.  Why doesn’t their plan include accelerated improvements to the bike trails in that corridor?  Here’s what’s needed:

  1.  Complete the Interurban to Puyallup from its current end in Algona-Pacific.  There are segments in Edgewater and Fife that just need to be connected.  With a little extra money SDOT could also provide a connection to the Foothills Trail.
  2. Connect the Interurban in Tukwila with the Eastside Rail Corridor in Renton.  Probably the best route would be through the Boeing parking lot at Tukwila Station and across on 7th to Burnett, but there might be a grade-separated route along 405 and Houser.
  3. Complete the ERC – SDOT is already on the hook for a crossing of 405 where the Wilburton Tunnel used to be.  Otherwise most of the expense is just paving and resurfacing bridges and trestles.  (They’re going to need a bridge or underpass at NE 8th.)  At the north end the ERC will need to be tied into the Sammamish River trail and that could be done on either side of the river.
  4. Improve the North Creek Trail (like fix the gap where it crosses 405 at  Beardsley and pave it through the business park.)  Extend the North Creek trail along Filbert (or even better, a grade-separated route along 405)
  5. Tie into the Interurban at Swamp Creek either using the existing bridge at 196th or up Butternut and connect at Maple Street.  With a little extra money SDOT could provide a bike bridge/underpass route from Beach Street to the east side of I-5.

 

The total cost of this stuff would be minor in the context of the freeway expansion they’re proposing.  If they don’t build it into the bond project it won’t get done in my lifetime.  What’s it take?

 

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