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Bainbridge hopes to get grant for cross-island trail

The city of Bainbridge Island hopes to fund the first leg of a major new pedestrian and bike asphalt pathway that would run from the ferry terminal to the Agate Pass Bridge.

Council members unanimously approved a grant application that would help pay to build the first leg of the route, known as the Sound to Olympics Trail, at their last council meeting.

The Bainbridge portion is just part of a much larger trail. The Sound to Olympics Trail will run from the Kingston and Bainbridge ferry docks to the trails of the Olympic Mountains.

The grant, if obtained, would pay for the starting section of the trail across Bainbridge Island. The proposed pathway starts at the corner of Winslow Way and Highway 305 and leads north to the existing 800-foot bridge over the Winslow Ravine, which was constructed in 2008 as part of the Sound to Olympics Trail, and then up to High School Road.

A tunnel running beneath Highway 305 would then connect to a trail outlet on Wyatt Way.

Interim Planning Director John Cunningham said construction of this portion of the trail is dependent on a $17 million federal grant sought by cities across the Puget Sound region. The Federal Highway Administration’s Transportation Alternatives Program provides funds for “improving non-driver access to public transportation and enhanced mobility, community improvement activities, and environmental mitigation,” according to the government agency’s website.

But the federal grant won’t cover the whole cost.

Cunningham said $250,000 out of the city’s general fund is budgeted for the project, which is only the first step in a potential 7-mile pathway on the island.

Cunningham said the city is certainly a competitor for the grant.

He said the purpose of the proposed trail “fits perfectly with the criteria” required by the federal government.

 

 

 

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