The Fennel Creek Trail will no longer connect through 95th Street East. Instead, it will connect north of 95th. Image courtesy of the city of Bonney Lake

The Fennel Creek Trail will no longer connect through 95th Street East. Instead, it will connect north of 95th. Image courtesy of the city of Bonney Lake

$500K boost for Fennel Creek Trail project, keeps out of way of objecting neighborhood

Senator Phil Fortunato helped the city find money to cover the cost of going around the neighborhood instead of through it.

Help from The Hill is on its way to aid Bonney Lake’s Fennel Creek Trail.

During the May 15 Bonney Lake Council workshop, city Special Project Manager Gary Leaf announced the city will be receiving a grant of $500,000 for the trail, in part thanks to the efforts of Sen. Phil Fortunato.

The grant money will help resolve some of the controversy that’s surrounded the trail for the last several years.

Back in 2015, the city was trying to decide how the trail — which will eventually connect Victor Falls to Bonney Lake Elementary and Allan Yorke Park — would cross state Route 410.

In 2015, the council opted to try a tunnel. However, the project would have cost more than $2 million, and due to the high cost, grant applications “fell pretty flat,” Leaf told the council during the workshop.

The council went back to the drawing board in November 2016 and decided the most economical and grant-friendly path would be to connect the trail at 95th Street East, head west to Angeline Road, go north underneath the highway, and then re-connect with the creek east of Angeline.

The residents on 95th street, to put it mildly, were not happy, and they approached their state legislators for assistance.

“I had a constituent reach out to my office with concerns about the safety of their neighborhood regarding the proposed project,” Fortunato said in an email interview. “I met with him and worked to bring people together to find a solution for the affected property owners. I went to bat for them because their concerns weren’t being heard.”

Fortunato encouraged the city to apply for a $500,000 grant, which was a part of the State capital budget passed by the state legislature last March. The grant was awarded to Bonney Lake mid-May.

Instead of the trail connecting on 95th Street East, the new route will continue north until it reaches the highway, where it will veer west to meet up and cross under SR 410 along Angeline Road before heading east again, following the highway until it hits the Midtown Core border — which is around where the Costco was just opened — and continue north.

This project needs to go out to bid before construction can start on Phase 2A of the Fennel Creek Trail, which is the fully-funded section of the trail that starts at the edge of Fennel Creek Park until it reaches the new path crossing underneath the highway.

Leaf estimated it will take eight months to redesign new trail connection, putting a tentative bid date for April 2019 and construction finishing at the end of the year. The whole project will cost around $1 million.

Phase 2A of the trail could start spring 2019 with purchasing some right-of-ways, which may take six months, Leaf added. Construction may also finished by the end of 2019; this phase is estimated to cost $1.8 million, but the city has a grant for $1.5 million.

Lead doesn’t have a timeline for Phase 2B — which will take the trail from SR 410 to Sumner-Buckley Highway — because this portion of the trail is yet to be funded, and the city is waiting to hear back on some grants.

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