Missing link still missing on Chehalis Western Trail

April 19th, 2013 by Ken

They said it would be finished in 2011.  Then they said in 2012.  Now, the completion of the Chehalis Western Trail is set for September of this year.  Yet, Thurston County still hasn’t obtained all of the needed property to complete the missing link.

The Chehalis Western Trail runs from Woodard Bay on Puget Sound to Yelm.   It runs unimpeded for 22 miles with one notable exception.   There’s a missing section of the trail on Pacific Avenue, at the boundary between the cities of Olympia and Lacey.

There have been other missing links.  A bridge over Interstate Five was completed a couple of years ago, and a bridge and off-ramp was completed over Martin Way in November 2012.

But the missing section over Pacific Avenue is held up because of a conflict between the property owner and the county, not only of the price of the needed property, but also of the design of the bridge over the street.

The property is owned by DeTray Family Partnership LLC.  The company operates DeTray’s Quality Homes, which sells manufactured housing from its location on Pacific Avenue, among other ventures.

Paul DeTray said that he is willing to sell the property to Thurston County, the trail operators, if the county would be willing to make some design changes.   Currently the plan calls for a bicycle on and off ramp onto Pacific Avenue.   The design would take a significant amount of property as well as requiring large supporting columns to hold the ramp.

DeTray said the design would take too much property as well as block the view of his business from the road.  He points out that there is a bicycle off ramp just a quarter of a mile away on Martin Way and a bicycle cloverleaf set for construction a short distance away on the other side.  He doesn’t see the need for an off ramp on Pacific Avenue.

The county has had the design for bridge and  off ramp for several years and currently has no plans to make any changes.

As construction season nears, it looks less and less likely that the Chehalis Western Trail’s final missing link will be completed this year.

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