Thursday, March 1, 2012

Port of Seattle to Sell Rail Segment

At a special meeting Feb. 28 in the city of Kirkland, the Port of Seattle Commission officially declared a 5.75-mile section of the Eastside Rail Corridor as surplus that is no longer needed for port district purposes, and unanimously voted to sell it to the city for $5 million.

The property is a portion of the Woodinville Subdivision rail corridor, which the port bought from Burlington Northern-Santa Fe railroad in December 2009.

The portion approved for sale starts in the city of Bellevue near the Kirkland/Bellevue border, and extends north of Totem Lake to 132nd Avenue NE, also known as Slater Avenue, in the Kirkland city limits.

During the Feb. 28 meeting, the commission approved a first reading of the resolution authorizing the sale; a vote on a second and final reading is expected to take place in a few weeks.

Kirkland’s City Council approved a purchase agreement with the port in December 2011. The city says it intends to remove the existing rails and redevelop the line for use as a bicycling and pedestrian trail as well as a light transportation corridor.

Port commissioner John Creighton, who grew up in east King County and went to high school near the tracks in Bellevue, said during the special meeting that he was strongly in favor of the sale.

“I think we’ve achieved a great result. It is preserved for the public,” he said of the rail segment. “I remain committed to having this corridor remain for dual use.”
The transaction is expected to close by mid-April, according to the port.