The biggest trail changes are part of the Montlake Triangle redesign. With the number of people walking and biking in this section of the trail set to skyrocket the day the light rail station opens (planned for early 2016), the redesign hopes to increase the capacity and safety of what might become the most heavily-used section of trail in the city (if it isn’t already).
The biggest bike route benefits of the new design are a biking and walking bridge over Montlake Boulevard and grade-separation of part of the Burke-Gilman Trail through the area. By routing through-traffic on the trail underneath a new set of paths connecting UW campus to the new station, there should fewer people crossing the path of the trail. Though it’s hard to see in the fancy rendering above, here’s a top-down map of the plan:
Details from UW Transportation Services:
The Montlake Triangle Project (MTP) is breaking ground today. The MTP is a multi-agency effort consisting of three subprojects centered around the intersection of Pacific Street and Montlake Boulevard. The project scope includes lowering NE Pacific Place and constructing a land bridge that will connect the Montlake Triangle and the lower Rainier Vista, creating a seamless experience for people walking and bicycling. People traveling from the south will access the Triangle via a combination of existing crosswalks and a new bridge across Montlake Boulevard constructed by Sound Transit.
In order to accomplish the next phase of work, the Burke Gilman Trail will need to be rerouted. The Burke Gilman Trail detour will skirt around the lower Rainier Vista to get around the construction. The trail is expected to be closed and the detour opened the first week of February 2014. Construction is scheduled to be complete by August 2015 and the trail reopened to users.
Once the Burke Gilman Trail is detoured, work will continue with rerouting NE Pacific Place eastbound vehicular traffic onto the existing bridge currently used by the Trail. Southbound Montlake vehicle traffic going west will continue onto the southern tip of the Triangle and turn right onto NE Pacific Street.
This project is part of the overall campus master plan to transform and activate the area. Project funding agencies are the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), Sound Transit and the University of Washington. The City of Seattle is also providing project support services and pedestrian improvements along Pacific Street.
The three subprojects consist of the following elements:
• Montlake Pedestrian Bridge–Subproject 1 (SP1) – This project will provide pedestrian and bicycle connections between the future light rail station at Husky Stadium and the Montlake Triangle. Sound Transit is managing design and construction of this $11.4 million project and it is nearly complete.
• Rainier Vista Land Bridge–Subproject 2 (SP2) – This bridge will span Pacific Place and connect the Montlake Triangle to Rainier Vista. The UW is managing design and construction of this $20.8 million project.
• Rainier Vista Land Bridge Site Improvements–Subproject 3 (SP3) – This project will provide landscaping, hard surfacing, lighting, and other site improvements from Stevens Way through the Montlake Triangle. The UW is managing design and construction of this $4.5 million project.
Construction work is scheduled to complete summer 2015. Some additional modifications to the detour routes may be implemented as work progresses.
Cascade Bicycle Club also reports about a smaller trail detour just west of Brooklyn Ave.