By Chris Hendrickson, Contributing Writer
Snohomish County Parks Director Tom Teigen presented to Monroe City Council last week to provide an update on the county’s comprehensive parks plan, as well as give information about the proposed Centennial-Snoqualmie trail extension, which would connect Monroe to the city of Snohomish.
The Centennial Trail is a 30-mile-long trail located in Snohomish County that connects the cities of Snohomish, Lake Stevens and Arlington. The trail travels north along the Highway 9 corridor up to the Skagit County line.
Current plans are to develop an approximately seven-mile extension of the trail that would connect the communities of Monroe and Snohomish. The new trail would connect to Monroe’s existing trail system in the Lake Tye area.
Teigen explained that currently, an average mile of trail costs around $1 million dollars in design, engineering and mitigation costs. Anything beyond a standard pathway, including river or creek crossings, or sensitive habitat areas, causes the price to go up. He said that a seven or eight mile trail is easily an eight or nine million-dollar investment when wetlands mitigation and a couple of creek crossings are included.
“From the standpoint of transportation, recreation and mobility, it’s still a pretty good investment,” said Teigen.
To offer perspective, Teigen stated that typical roadway costs around eight million dollars per mile.
On March 10, council authorized Monroe Mayor Geoffrey Thomas to submit a letter of support for the Centennial Trail extension to the Snohomish County Executive’s Office. In addition to the letter of support, council also moved forward by adopting an official resolution formally proclaiming their support of the trail extension.
“This connection is not just consistent with Monroe’s vision, but supports a number of regional initiatives,” wrote Mayor Thomas. “The Monroe City Council and I strongly support connecting the communities of Monroe and Snohomish with the Centennial Trail. We look forward to working with the county and to breaking ground on this regional facility.”
Snohomish County Parks’ 105 park properties make up an 11,000-acre countywide parks system. In 2013 it was estimated that parks in Snohomish County welcomed over four million visitors.