Some 3,000 feet of Foothills Trail were added during a flurry of activity, but work suddenly halted. Construction materials are still visible from state Route 410, but they’re sitting idle.
The beneficiary of the work stoppage? Salmon.
As part of an ongoing effort to complete a missing link of Foothills Trail, King County converted a largely unimproved section of trail to a smooth ribbon of asphalt. The recent work begin at 252nd Avenue on Enumclaw’s south side and extended well over a half-mile away from town and toward the White River.
The project calls for the work to extend to the historic-but-abandoned concrete bridge over Boise Creek. But the “fish window” temporarily intervened.
Jean White, who works with King County Parks, said work on the trail had to be halted while Boise Creek was teeming with fish, many of those classified as threatened or endangered.
Work will resume this summer when the natural window closes, she said, and continue to the moss-covered bridge that once allowed vehicles to travel between Enumclaw and Buckley. Those were the days prior to the current SR 410.
Bridge abutments are still visible on both sides of the White River, indicating where an earlier road crossed the salmon-bearing waterway.
AND THE FINAL PIECE…
Once King County sees the final stretch of pavement placed south of Enumclaw, the only thing separating the counties will be the long-awaited bridge over the White River.
It’s hardly an “only thing,” as the bridge will be an expensive undertaking. But, the money is there and the spirit is willing, White said.
After years of talking, lobbying and scrabbling together funds, a financial package exists that will see a bridge built and paid for. White said engineering efforts are planned for 2021, with construction slated for 2022.
When finished, the bridge will allow pedestrians and bicyclists – any nonmotorized form or transportation – to step onto the Foohills Trail in Enumclaw and travel – unimpeded – more than 20 miles to Puyallup. Along the way, the trail passes through Buckley, South Prairie and Orting.
More information about the project can be found at: www.kingcounty.gov/services/parks-recreation/parks/trails/regional-trails/popular-trails/foothills.