The Snohomish County Council approved buying nearly 12 miles of the Eastside Rail Corridor on Monday, preserving freight service and also opening the possibility of linking to trail systems in King County.
The approval allows the county to use Conservation Futures bond money to buy the property from the Port of Seattle for $5 million.
The Port of Seattle purchased the corridor from Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad in 2009. Other parts of the 40-mile corridor are owned by the cities of Redmond and Kirkland.
“This action will preserve and improve on a very important regional asset,” said Council Chair Stephanie Wright. “Maintaining freight service, while preparing for our future commercial, recreation and transportation needs is an opportunity we must pursue.”
Council members and elected leaders hope to expand the property’s uses by linking the county trail system, supporting bicycle traffic and eventually adding passenger and excursion trains to local cities, the county said in a news statement.
The Eastside Rail Corridor links the city of Snohomish with Woodinville, Redmond and Renton.
Acquisition of the corridor will also link the Centennial Trail with the trail system in King County, allowing people to connect with the Lake Sammamish, Burke Gilman and other trails, the statement said.
Completion of the sales agreement is expected in mid 2014.