When King County purchased ownership interests in 15.6 miles of the 42 mile ERC in
2013, the King County Council required Council approval for removal of any rail tracks
along the County-owned portion of the corridor (Ordinance 17503). The Executive is
proposing to remove rail tracks from the corridor in two phases beginning in early 2016
and concluding in the first quarter of 2018. This proposed motion would approve the
Executive’s ERC rail removal plan and authorize execution of the plan in its entirety.
The Executive’s reasons for proposing to remove the rails on the ERC are:
- It would improve the operational efficiency of maintaining the corridor and safety
- There are no active or currently anticipated uses of the existing rail
- It would improve opportunities for recreational uses in the corridor.
- Removal is aligned with policy guidance related to the corridor development.
Policy considerations for the Council include determining to what extent removing the
current rail infrastructure enhances and/or forecloses potential multiuse opportunities,
and how to preserve the historic legacy of rail use in the corridor. The Executive is proposing to fund the estimated $1,550,000 rail removal design and construction costs through the Regional Trails Reserve Fund. This supplemental appropriation proposal is contained in Proposed Ordinance 2015-0438, which is currently before the Budget and Fiscal Management Committee.
As a side note, Sound Transit states that the agency has no plans to use the existing rail infrastructure for transit uses, and has plans to build new transit infrastructure within portions of the corridor.
For the full meeting report click here.
For the legislative report click here.