A feasibility study prepared by SCJ Alliance for the cities of Tenino and Bucoda provided stakeholders with options and cost estimates for extending the Yelm-Tenino Trail, which currently runs 14 and a half miles along State Route 507.
The study cost $64,875 and was funded by a grant from the federal Transportations Alternatives Program. Two options for extension were considered: a trail from the Tenino Depot Museum to Bucoda and one from the museum to the western city limits of Tenino. Cost estimates range from $4.2 million for the preferred Bucoda option, which would end there at 184th Street, to $2.23 million for the preferred West Tenino route along Old Highway 99.
A variety of route options were considered using a weighted criteria that placed the most importance on perceived safety and trail ambience. Flooding concerns, directness of routes and conflicts with water resources were also considered. Individual segments of each preferred route were also priced out to allow stakeholders to consider staging those improvements.
According to the study, the next step for the Tenino City Council is to consider adding information from the feasibility study into the city comprehensive plan and parks plan. Bucoda is slated to adopt the study during a meeting of the town council, while Thurston County will look to include the trail extensions in its Parks Impact Fee Program and the Parks, Recreation, Trails and Natural Resource Preserve Plan. All three entities will work together in search of funding sources.