Trail extension receives budget support

A long-awaited extension of the popular Foothills Trail will become reality if a funding proposal receives final authorization.

The Puget Sound Regional Council recently offered its initial support for a $378,000 grant that would allow building a 1.3-mile segment of the trail between Buckley and South Prairie.

PSRC’s Transportation Policy Board released a series of recommendations for public comment on June 11 and final action on the funding is set for July 23.

The Foothills Trail is a mix of paved and non-paved segments, popular with walkers, joggers, bicyclists and even horse riders. The trail is off-limits to motorized vehicles.

A continuous ribbon of paved trail extends from Puyallup, through Orting and on to South Prairie. Other portions of the trail exist in Buckley and supporters have long dreamed of the day when an entire 28-mile trail is completed. An ultimate goal is to see a bridge spanning the White River, so the Pierce County system connects with the trail in Enumclaw.

The PSRC also has recommended projects in Eatonville, $769,927; Duvall, $1 million; Kitsap County, $450,000; and Stanwood, $350,000.

The PSRC involves King, Pierce, Snohomish and Kitsap counties, along with assorted cities, tribes and other agencies. The PSRC gets its funding from federal, state and local sources.