Centennial Trail project moves forward near Arlington

The Centennial Trail is scheduled to soon be extended north of Arlington. - Courtesy Photo
The Centennial Trail is scheduled to soon be extended north of Arlington.
— image credit: Courtesy Photo

ARLINGTON — An ongoing trail project that could one day connect Seattle to Skagit County is again moving forward.

Phase II of the Centennial Trail will be going out to bid later this month to extend the county trail from Arlington north to the Snohomish/Skagit county line.

Centennial Trail Coalition Chairwoman Bea Randall said bids could be awarded toward the end of September, and construction of the new trail segment could begin as early as Oct. 1.

Federal and state grants will fund the construction, Randall said.

Currently, the 17-mile trail runs from Snohomish north through Lake Stevens, crossing Highway 9 to Arlington.

Upon completion, the new trail section will extend north through Arlington, crossing the Stillaguamish River and snaking northwest toward Skagit County.

"Arlington is a wonderful future location for the trail to go through," Randall said.

In order to complete the new trail, Snohomish County and the city of Arlington will still need to connect gaps in trail within the city limits.

City of Arlington spokeswoman Kristin Banfield said the city's biggest gap runs from 204th Street to Lebanon Street south of downtown.

She said the city has obtained grants to design a trail that would fill those gaps, but have not yet found a funding source.

Tom Teigan, Snohomish County Parks director, said all the necessary permits have gone through to complete the north section of the trail. He said opening bids will go out Sept. 22 for the approximately $6 million project.

"We're very happy to be moving forward," Teigan said.

Randall said her hope is to one day continue the Centennial Trail south of Snohomish and connect with Monroe and eventually the Seattle area.

She said the coalition's last survey found that about 350,000 people use the current Centennial Trail each year, and the group will be doing another survey on Sept. 13 to get more current numbers.

Randall said the trail's coalition will have more information on the project for residents at Arlington's Community Day on Sept. 19.

The trail project has been in the works since 1988, Randall said.

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