Trail’s missing link

August 15th, 2011 by Ken

The Chehalis Western Trail is a great community asset. It runs north and south from the Yelm area all the way to Puget Sound.

It runs through rural areas and urban areas. It crosses roads, ponds, streams and even a lake. There are bridges across Yelm Highway, Martin Way and even Interstate Five.

But, there’s a missing link. There is no bridge over Pacific Avenue. Thurston County, which is responsible for the trail, has designed a new Pacific Avenue bridge, but some property owners on Pacific Avenue think the bridge is too ambitious.

It calls for a bicycle on and off ramp at that intersection. But, in order to meet ADA requirements, a large amount of property needs to be acquired, as well as large berms need to be constructed.

The design of the ramp will take a great deal of commercial property, lowering the values of the remaining property, and will construct berms which will block the commercial property from view of cars on Pacific Avenue.

Some property owners feel that an on and off ramp on Pacific Avenue is not needed. That a bridge over the street is sufficient. They point out that there is already an on and off ramp over Martin Way and another over Interstate Five. And, an on and off ramp is planned where the Chehalis Western Trail meets the Woodland Trail, just a few hundred yards off of Pacific Avenue.

Thurston County Manager Don Krupp says that construction of the trail’s missing link will begin next Spring even though the needed property hasn’t yet been purchased. While he doesn’t want to use condemnation of the property, it isn’t out of the question.

Posted in Business, Government, History, Informational, The Real News

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