Rick Tollefson Memorial Trail in Port Townsend aimed at connections, safety
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Jefferson Parks and Recreation Director Matt Tyler, right, leads park project manager Valerie Greene and Jefferson County Commissioner David Sullivan on Wednesday through the area that will become the Rick Tollefson Trail. Charlie Bermant/Peninsula Daily News

By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News

PORT TOWNSEND — The Rick Tollefson Memorial Trail, scheduled for completion in 2015, will provide a pedestrian connection between Port Hadlock and Chimacum, streamlining a path between the two well-traveled areas.

“The idea of the trail is to provide an alternative for people who are biking or walking on the road, which can be pretty unsafe,” said project manager Valerie Greene.

“This will keep a lot of people off the highway, and in the long run, could make it unnecessary to create a four-lane road,” said Jefferson County Commissioner David Sullivan.

Greene, Sullivan and Jefferson County Parks and Recreation Director Matt Tyler hosted a tour of the trail site Wednesday.

The path of the trail is now staked out. Grants have been secured, and most of the design and permitting efforts have been accomplished.

Easements from property owners for land not previously owned by the county have been acquired from four property owners.

Prior to construction, for which there is no scheduled start date, the design and permitting process must be completed and the project put out for bid.

The plan includes the construction of a footbridge across Chimacum Creek, which bisects the valley.

The new trail will offer a lot of variety, with many twists, turns and different views, Tyler said.

This project is the first phase of a trail network that will eventually connect the Port Hadlock core with Chimacum Schools, Jefferson County Library, Bob Bates Little League Field and HJ Carroll Park.

The cost of construction is estimated between $600,000 and $700,000.

It is completely funded through grants from the Surface Transportation Improvement Program and the state Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Program.

The relatively short trail, about a third of a mile between HJ Carroll Park and Old Hadlock Road, boasts some spectacular scenery, Greene said.

It dips down into a valley between two farms and provides a wide view of the area around Chimacum Creek.

“When you are driving down the road, you have no idea this is here,” Greene said.

“This trail will be great both for kids and families going back and forth and for all of the hundreds of fitness walkers, dog walkers and bikers who enjoy HJ Carroll Park.”

The trail will have a crushed basalt surface and will be 10 feet wide in most places — double that width in some spots.

Greene said the surface is the same as that on the Larry Scott Trail, which has proven to be durable. No repairs have been required for five years.

The trail is named in honor of parks advocate Tollefson, who helped create the county’s park committee in 1980, which evolved into the Parks Advisory Board in 1989, on which he served until his death in 2007, Tyler said.

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Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or cbermant@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: April 16. 2014 7:42PM
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