City, state and community leaders came together on October 9 to celebrate the completion of infrastructure work in the Exit 7/Port Quendall area and to break ground on the May Creek Trail.
The “Exit 7 Area Improvements Project” was funded in the 2009 session of the State Legislature. Thanks to the leadership and support of the Renton legislative delegation, particularly Representative Marcie Maxwell and Senator Margarita Prentice, $1.7 million was included in the 2009-11 state capital budget. The publicly-funded improvements abut the proposed Hawk’s Landing Mixed-Use Development, a potential redevelopment on approximately 7.8 acres currently owned by Vulcan that has for decades been used as industrial land and warehouse space. Most recently the site has been the site of Pan Abode Cedar Homes’ manufacturing facility.
“This public investment will help catalyze the private investment that is long overdue here,” said Renton City Councilmember Marcie Palmer, “and the May Creek Trail project will provide a wonderful amenity for the community and region. These projects have been funded thanks to our incredible friends in the State Legislature. We are very grateful for their support as well as our valuable partnerships with so many.”
The Exit 7 Area Improvements Project includes three elements:
- The new water line on Lake Washington Blvd. will provide fire protection to the Pan Abode site and nearby development – over 1,200 feet of a high capacity 12-inch diameter city water main was installed since there was no water line within this portion of the roadway.
- State funding also assisted in the construction of storm system improvements to retrofit Lake Washington Blvd. and provide water quality treatment for the existing roadway. This will help protect water quality and fish habitat in May Creek and help reduce the potential for downstream flooding. The funding was also used to install porous concrete sidewalks as a low-impact storm water improvement feature. The improvements include construction of approximately 1,000 linear feet of public storm system along with the construction of a water quality treatment facility.
- Finally, state funding assisted with property acquisition, trail design and development of a soft surface trail along May Creek. The trail has been designed, a contractor has been hired and the six-week construction project has begun.
The three-acre May Creek park and trail will be the first City of Renton-developed portion of the May Creek Greenway, which will extend from the mouth of May Creek at Lake Washington east to King County’s Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park, a distance of approximately six miles. The May Creek Greenway serves several functions, including providing habitat for endangered salmon species, providing a continuous wildlife and habitat corridor, protecting steep and sensitive slopes, providing surface water storage capacity, and providing land for a developing multi-jurisdictional soft surface trail system with opportunities for interpretation, education and public enjoyment.
This portion of the soft-surface trail will be a quarter mile long, starting at Lake Washington Blvd. North, and stopping before I-405. Invasive plants will be removed, and the area will be replanted with over 2, 500 native trees, shrubs and groundcovers. All existing trees will remain.
“In a few years, this site will be a lush landscape and an ideal outdoor classroom where we learn to take good care of our Mother Earth,” said Larry Reymann, Chair of the Renton Parks Commission. “With a little luck and our stewardship, the endangered Chinook and Kokanee salmon that spawn here will continue to return, and increase their numbers in the future.”
“We are looking forward to the day that all of this public investment will help stimulate increased private investment and more jobs for more families in the community,” said State Representative Marcie Maxwell.