Al Gilson, Communications Manager
WSDOT Eastern Region
2714 N. Mayfair
Spokane, WA 99207
Cyclists, walkers and runners will have a new trail to enjoy following the opening of a new one-mile extension of the Children of the Sun Trail on Monday, Oct. 12.
The new section, developed by the Washington State Department of Transportation, follows the North Spokane Corridor freeway route from the Freya Street roundabouts north of Francis Ave. to a new trailhead in Hillyard, across the street from Harmon Park. The trail is 12 to 16-feet wide with a fresh asphalt surface to make riding or jogging a pleasure. Two new trail bridges were built; one crosses Freya and the other passes over the BNSF Railway mainline. A third trail crossing, over a rail spur track, is combined with the southbound freeway lanes on an extra wide, dual-purpose bridge.
“This new segment of the Children of the Sun Trail was a component of a large project to realign the BNSF Railway tracks,” said Keith Metcalf, WSDOT regional administrator. “A total of seven miles of rail mainline and spur lines were rearranged to accommodate the future construction of the multi-lane freeway through the center of the former Great Northern rail yards in northeast Spokane.”
Funding for this $31 million, multi-modal project came from several sources. The federal government provided $10 million through the Transportation Investments Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant. About $21 million came from Washington State’s 2003 “Nickel” package and 2005 Transportation Partnership package. Apollo, Inc. of Kennewick was the prime contractor on the project. Work began in mid-2013.
Elected officials, local residents and business leaders will gather with WSDOT officials at 11 a.m., Monday, Oct. 12, to celebrate the opening of the trail and completion of the rail realignment and freeway bridges.