The Central Connector will run from the end of the East Lake Sammamish Trail to Northeast 124th Street along a portion of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad corridor that the city purchased in 2010. The project will be completed in phases, with the first segment through downtown Redmond from Bear Creek to the Sammamish River scheduled to begin construction in 2012.
The first phase of the project, which runs about 1.1 miles is expected to cost $3.9 million, said senior city planner Carolyn Hope. A federal transportation enhancements grant is contributing $2.3 million in funding, she said.
Eventually, city officials plan for the Central Connector to run alongside Sound Transit's East Link light rail line and connect with the light rail station in downtown Redmond.
At Tuesday's meeting, Dave Knight of The Berger Partnership, a Seattle-based landscape architecture and urban planning firm, went over some of the project's key design principles, including an engagement with art and a distinctly Redmond feel.
Knight said the design plans also call for lighting to be used to make the corridor an inviting place into the evening hours.
"We want this to be an 18-hour space that is interesting all times of the day," he said.
Hope said the draft plan is the culmination of a lengthy public outreach project that included three public meetings and interviews with various groups and individuals. Ideas from the public have been incorporated throughout the plan, Hope said.
"We really tried to make sure that the vision for this project came from the community," she said.
Hope said the City Council is expected to take action on the plan in early June, at which point design of the connector's first phase would begin. Several council members spoke favorably of the plan at Tuesday's meeting.
"It does reflect the community's vision," Councilman Hank Margeson said. "Let's get going."