Cantwell Announces $3.5M Rail Grant for Meadowdale Beach Park Access, Estuary Restoration Project

Grant will help fund new railroad bridge to allow beach access, fish passage, and restoration of 1.3 acre estuary in Edmonds

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), the top Democrat on the Senate transportation committee, announced Edmonds won a $3.5 million rail infrastructure grant for a new railroad bridge at Meadowdale Beach Park. The grant, from the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvement (CRISI) program at the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), will help replace an old railroad embankment with a new bridge to allow for beach access, better salmon passage, and the restoration of a 1.3 acre estuary for critical fish habitat. 

“The Meadowdale Beach Park project is a win-win-win for the community, the environment, and freight mobility,” Senator Cantwell said. “This federal investment will increase the community’s access to a beautiful part of Puget Sound, restore salmon habitat and improve fish passage, and keep trains moving along this important freight corridor.” 

Currently, the beach at Meadowdale Beach Park is separated from the rest of the park by a railway embankment. One undersized, non-ADA-compliant culvert currently provides the only access to the beach, as well as passage for Endangered Species Act (ESA) listed juvenile Chinook salmon. The culvert is often partially filled with water, and many visitors to the beach currently choose to cross over the railway tracks. 

The CRISI grant will help Snohomish County replace this railway embankment with a five-span railway bridge, providing new ADA-compliant access to the beach and options for fish passage. It will also restore a historic estuary, providing important habitat for ESA-listed Chinook, Chum, and Coho salmon, as well as Cutthroat trout, and allow for beach and nearshore work critical to ongoing Puget Sound restoration projects. 

Senator Cantwell wrote a letter in support of the grant application for the project in August 2018.