King County Parks: Burke-Gilman reopening delayed another week

Photo of finished section of trail from King County Parks

The goal of reopening the Burke-Gilman Trail from Seattle to Log Boom Park has been delayed another week. Originally expected to be open in December, the project was delayed until “late January,” and work significantly exceeded the budget.

A small section of the trail near Log Boom Park has opened, but most of the reconstructed trail has been delayed. Citing the area’s week of snowfall for putting the project behind schedule again, King County Parks says the trail is expected to open in the first week of February (UPDATE: The project website says opening is tentatively scheduled for February 10).

From King County Parks:

Last week’s snow and ice made things difficult for lots of people in King County – including the crew that has been putting the finishing touches on the major reconstruction of the County’s Burke-Gilman Trail through Lake Forest Park.

The good news: We’re done with the paving, retaining walls, drainage, fencing and signage along this 2.2-mile-long stretch of the BGT.

The bad news: The contractor lost the entire work week because of inclement weather, and this pushes the trail reopening back from what we had hoped would be the end of January into early February.

Work that remains includes installing concrete for the plaza on the southern side of the intersection at Northeast 170th Street.

We’ll keep you updated on the new reopening date and check here for the latest construction updates. We appreciate everyone’s patience!

Map of work area:

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21 Responses to King County Parks: Burke-Gilman reopening delayed another week

  1. Eli says:

    In the 8 months that this trail has been closed (and I’ve no longer been able to bike to work), I’ve gained 17 pounds and my doctor now wants me to consider blood pressure medication to offset impact of lacking exercise in my life.

    This trail closure is a great example of why we need more than a single path in the entire Seattle area in which “interested but concerned” bike riders can feel safe riding, and which are likely to overlap with the trips they actually need to make on a day-to-day basis.

    • Al Dimond says:

      We’re certainly working on a more comprehensive network of bike routes that aren’t door-zone bike lanes on arterials. But… remember that most accidents occur in intersections, and accidents involving bikes are no exception. The Burke’s intersections are actually pretty lousy across the board in terms of visibility, and can be very confusing, with few established norms of behavior — if you can handle them, you can handle intersections anywhere, and if you can handle intersections anywhere you can handle riding anywhere. On the Burke detour you’ll have lots of other people on bikes around, plenty of signage for guidance, and drivers that, by this point, are used to bike traffic.

      The Burke detour is certainly harder than a lot of detours would be because of the terrain in Lake Forest Park, and its often disjointed road network. But there’s a reasonable route to almost anywhere if you want to find it.

  2. AdmiralWinfield says:

    WTF man? I was itching for a bike ride on that part of the trail since mid December. I hate public contractors always slowing things down.

  3. Chuck Erickson says:

    These delays are getting as bad as the Cantador case ruling.

  4. Steve says:

    If the paving’s done they should open the trail. If a concrete plaza to the side of the trail is all that is left to do, the contractor should be able to work around the bike traffic.

    • Al Dimond says:

      Yeah… they could easily just have traffic directors control traffic flow along the route, as is done during construction projects that affect roads. Also, if the only thing left to finish is a platform at 170th, 170th is very easy to bypass on Beach Dr.

    • Super Steve says:

      The only reason that 99% of the closed portion is still closed is because there are big barriers blocking the trail – it’s completely ready-to-ride otherwise! I’ve ridden it myself three times since the big snowfall, and seen dozens of other riders each time.

      That tiny portion at NE 170th that needs to be finished is nothing – as easily traversed as those wooden steps were at the Log Boom Park end of the construction was.

      It’s hard to imagine why that one item hasn’t seen any progress in weeks – it small enough that Cascade Bicycle Club could get a few volunteers to finish it off in an afternoon.

  5. Jonathan says:

    Looking on the bright side, at least our long national nightmare is finally (one more week!) over.

  6. Eli, that is really too bad. That section of Burke Gilman is pretty vital for bicycle commuters. The alternative is Lake City Way and the buses in the southbound lanes are really hostile to cyclists in my experience. Or a confusing maze of hill repeats in the adjacent neighborhoods. Hopefully its done soon.

    • Eli Goldberg says:

      Yeah. I admit I’m less meaning to whine about the lack of exercise I’ve had these 8 months [it's almost over!], versus the realization of what a public health opportunity it would be if lots more people had the opportunity to bike to work as a practical, safe-feeling and attractive form of transportation.

      After all, most people in Seattle don’t live AND work next to the Burke, even when it’s not closed for reconstruction. ;-)

    • John says:

      I’ve been using Lake City Way during the entire closure, and I’ve found the bus drivers to be quite courteous and hospitable Southbound. They’ve left plenty of room, most often passing me from the regular lane, then switching in to the bus lane after they’re well past me.
      Northbound hasn’t been quite so good. Probably because the bus lane starts and stops several times, the shoulders are non-existent or thin at best, and everyone’s tired late in the day.
      So, “Thank you for being courteous Metro bus drivers on Lake City Way!” This bike commuter really appreciates it.

  7. Peter says:

    Awesome! I can’t wait to ride the north loop again. Thanks!

  8. The Barbecutioner says:

    I’m going to organize an “Occupy Burke Gilman” on Feb. 11 if the trail is delayed again. Seeeeerriously!

  9. Todd says:

    Oh yay, I get to pipe in on this project again — twice the cost and about 2 months behind. Golly, who’d have thunk it?

  10. Andrew Squirrel says:

    oh geez, you are all children, grow up and gain a speck of patience. Let us be happy we are gaining a repaired trail at all.
    I’ve completely lost the entire trail to my work (green river trail) to sandbags with no foreseeable removal. Maybe I should rent a pickup truck & drive some of these gigantic sandbags down to the BG then you will have something to REALLY whine about! ha!

    • Gary says:

      Sorry! With the repair of the Howard Hanson dam, I thought they might remove those sand bags. Maybe you could have a sand bag restacking party and move them to the edge of the trail, water, or land side.

      • Roy says:

        Unfortunately the “sand bags” weight 2000 lbs. It cost several million dollars to install the “sand bags.” Wonder where they will get the money to remove them?

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