The Washington state Department of Parks and Recreation Commission is seeking environmental approval for a proposed project to extend the Centennial Trail 2.2 miles to the northwest from its current western ending point near Nine Mile Falls Dam.
The state has funding commitments for all but about $200,000 of the estimated cost of the project, which could total anywhere from $300,000 to $400,000, says parks planner Bill Fraser.
The trail currently ends in Sontag Park, which is located just north of the dam, near the western end of the bridge that carries Charles Road over the Spokane River. The proposed project would extend the trail to the northwest, mostly through the northern portions of Riverside State Park, to a new terminus at property that Parks and Recreation manages on the shore of Long Lake. That property, known as Nine Mile Resort, is owned by Spokane-based Avista Corp. and includes campsites, recreational vehicle parking, and a boat launch.
Mark Schulz, a regional environmental specialist for Parks and Recreation, says extending the trail to the resort property through Parks and Recreation land will take it to a logical terminus there. He says the trail likely won't be extended any further after the planned project.
Fraser says construction of the new section of trail wouldn't begin until at least the fall of 2011, because the department still must secure additional grant money to pay for its construction.
The new section would be 12 feet wide and paved for nonmotorized, multimodal recreation and transportation uses, such as hiking and bicycling. It would include some fencing, signage, and other items. The new length of trail would not be adjacent to the river, but rather would wind through a forested area west of the river.
So far, the department has commitments for funding from Avista and from trail groups such as the Friends of the Centennial Trail, Fraser says.
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