Chamber joins local, state leaders calling for adequate Move Ahead Washington funding

Advocacy, In the News,

Chamber President & CEO Joe Fain — alongside a dozen of the Eastside's top transportation stakeholders — have formally called for increased funding to fill the gap in the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trail. Read the letter below.

The Letter to the Governor:

We collectively write to encourage you to reprogram the Move Ahead Washington funding allocated to the Mountains to Sound Greenway (MTSG) Trail in your proposed 2024 Supplemental Transportation Budget to ensure that the project does not lose federal funds.

Part of the Mountains to Sound Greenway National Heritage Area, the MTSG Trail, stretches from Seattle to Issaquah, providing an east-west recreational trail and a key multimodal commute corridor in East King County.

Along the Trail, there is a critical 3.6-mile uncompleted gap in one of the most urbanized segments of the corridor – in Bellevue along I-90 between I-405 and Issaquah. To date, 1.2 miles of the gap has been completed. There are three remaining segments to close the gap — we ask for your leadership to reprogram existing funds to allow the next segment to be completed, which is from 142nd Place SE to 150th Avenue SE.

The total cost of the segment from 142nd Place SE to 150th Avenue SE is $12 million. In 2022, the Legislature approved $6.9 million of Move Ahead Washington funds for the project. The City of Bellevue immediately began identifying the remaining necessary funding and was successful in securing $2.37 million in federal funds. Those federal funds must be obligated by June 1, 2025.

After securing the federal funds, the Legislature programmed $300,000 for the project in the 2023-25 biennium and left the remaining $6.6 million programed in “future biennium," beyond 2029. This $6.6 million needs to be reprogrammed to the 2025-27 biennium to ensure that the project does not lose $2.37 million in federal funds. The City of Bellevue has committed the remaining funds needed to fully fund the project.

Completing this segment of the MTSG Trail will provide a key connection to Bellevue College, Eastgate Park and Ride, and the recently completed Eastside homeless and supportive housing complex. The City has recently secured a separate federal grant to make a formal connection between the MTSG Trail and Eastrail, ultimately providing a full multimodal transportation network to serve several of the region’s largest employers. Several of these employers have contributed to this overarching network as part of a public-private partnership to make multimodal commuting a reality in East King County.

We appreciate that your proposed 2023-25 Transportation Budget, submitted to the Legislature for consideration, programmed funding for this project in 2023-2027. We hope your 2024 Supplemental Transportation budget will align with your previous proposals and prioritize the timely completion of this project.

Thank you for considering this request, [signed by]

  • Mayor Lynne Robinson
  • Rep. Tana Senn
  • Senator Lisa Wellman
  • Senator Patty Kuderer
  • Rep. Vandana Slatter
  • Councilmember Sarah Perry
  • Councilmember Claudia Balducci
  • Rep. Amy Walen
  • Amy Brockhaus
  • Joe Fain
  • Matt Larson
  • Tom Bugert
  • Guy Palumbo

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