August 30, 2014 in Washington Voices

Millwood plans trail on old rail right of way

By The Spokesman-Review
 
Map of this story's location

Creation of a Millwood trail on a historic railroad right of way took a step forward earlier this week.

The trail is envisioned for the former Great Northern Railway line through Millwood from Vista Road to Trent Avenue.

Spokane County has owned the land since acquiring it from the Great Northern successor railroad years ago and has used it for a sewer line.

On Tuesday, county commissioners unanimously approved an agreement with the city of Millwood to allow the city to develop a trail on the portion of the old right-of-way through the city.

Millwood officials signed the agreement on Aug. 12.

The trail is included in Millwood’s six-year transportation plan and in the pedestrian and bicycle portion of its comprehensive land-use plan.

The multiuse trail is envisioned as a link through the heart of Millwood to the city of Spokane Valley.

The right-of-way is located next to the active Union Pacific Railroad line.

Millwood Mayor Kevin Freeman told commissioners earlier this summer that construction of the trail will require grant money.

The agreement reserves the county’s need to use the right of way for public utilities.

The agreement reads, “Spokane County and the city of Millwood both recognize that having a multiuse trail along a portion of the Great Northern right of way will provide an important regional alternative transportation and recreation amenity to residents of Spokane County, including the city of Millwood.”

The agreement will run for at least 30 years and can be extended in 10-year increments after that.

The agreement also says that Millwood will be the lead agency in seeking, receiving and executing grant funds.

Adjacent property owners may be approached by the city to relocate existing encroachments such as landscaping, sprinklers and fences that would impede trail construction.

Also, Millwood takes over responsibility for weed control, litter pickup and other maintenance prior to trail construction and then ongoing maintenance once the trail is built.

The county may use the right of way to move reclaimed water from its wastewater facility at Freya Street to a site southeast of Spokane Valley.

The possibility of using the right of way for mass transit is also retained by the county.

A larger trail from Spokane Community College to Spokane Valley Mall is envisioned on the old rail line, which includes the Millwood trail section. It would connect with the Centennial Trail.


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