Two companion bills to extend the Chinook Scenic Byway four miles to make Enumclaw the "western gateway" are on their way to Gov. Jay Inslee's office.
A Senate bill sponsored by Sen. Pam Roach, R-Auburn, and Sen. Paull Shin, D-Edmonds, passed the Senate Monday while the companion House Bill 1028 passed on March 9 with Rep. Cathy Dahlquist, R-Enumclaw, Rep. Chris Hurst, R-Enumclaw and Rep. Judy Clibborn, D-Mercer Island, as primary sponsors.
"This is fabulous," said Enumclaw Mayor Liz Reynolds. "I would like to thank Reps. Hurst, Dahlquist, Clibborn as well as Sens. Roach and Shin for their support and leadership for the re-designation of the terminus of the Chinook scenic Byway."
Roach said, "The Chinook Scenic Byway has been recognized as one of the most scenic driving tours in the state of Washington. Even though Enumclaw is home to a number of landmarks along State Route 410, it isn't yet recognized as a part of the state's Scenic Highway System."
The Chinook Scenic Byway currently runs along SR 410 through the Cascades. Senate Bill 5030 extends the Byway four miles west to Farman Street in Enumclaw.
"Enumclaw is home to some of the most magnificent scenery in the state," Roach said. "Recognizing it as part of the Scenic Byway System will bring visitors along the highway to boost the local economy."
The measure was requested by Reynolds who began conversations with 31st district lawmakers last summer to extend the terminus at Farman Street.
"The action will bring value added to our community, one more piece of important advertising exposure for Enumclaw through the National Scenic Byway program that signifies that 'Enumclaw is the western entrance into The Chinook Scenic Byway, an area that is quite notable for its magnificent scenic appeal and recreational abundance in the Cascade Range, Mt. Rainier and forested foothills surrounding Enumclaw,'" Reynolds wrote in a statement to Patch Tuesday.
The current western terminus for the byway is Scatter Creek, she said. Including the city of Enumclaw along the byway opens up opportunities for funding particularly as plans for the Welcome Center get underway to include more interpretive elements. "The good thing is it's free advertising," she said. "It puts Enumclaw on the map."