Frequently Asked Questions
What are the benefits of this project?
There are few public open spaces in Southwest Thurston County. This project is the first step to explore and develop a plan for connecting communities with a non-motorized pathway, like the Chehalis Western Trail. The new trail would offer both outdoor recreation and transportation options that could serve people of all ages and abilities. Such a trail would be open to activities such as walking, jogging, bicycling, equestrian uses, skating, dog walking, wildlife viewing, and others.
How is this project funded?
The total budget for this planning effort is $173,410 – and it covers studying the feasibility of building and maintaining a new trail corridor, and strategies for future implementation. At this time, no funding is available for acquiring properties, conducting necessary environmental studies, design and engineering, or construction.
This project is funded by a $150,000 federal Surface Transportation Block Grant and $23,410 matching funds from Thurston County.
So you’re going to build a trail, right?
Hopefully someday! But right now, this is just a study to understand what it would take – is there community support for a trail? Where does it make the most sense (based on cost and community priorities) to build a trail? What are possible funding sources to pay for a trail? These are all questions Thurston County needs answers to before committing to building a trail.
When will you build the trail?
Not any time soon – and possibly not at all. That’s why we’re studying the feasibility of establishing a new trail. To put things in perspective, the Gate-Belmore Trail has been in the works since 1996 when the railroad line was acquired by Thurston County. It’s still not developed for public use 25 years later. Keep in mind that a lot goes into trail planning – identifying a good route, acquiring a right-of-way for the route, designing and engineering the trail, and then constructing the trail. With minimal funding sources and limited resources, it can take quite a while to get from start to finish.