Utility relocation for the final segment of the Ship Canal Trail started in early May. Once completed, construction can begin to extend the trail all the way to Fisherman’s Terminal, allowing people on foot or bicycle a way to bypass the unfriendly and dangerous interchange mess at the south end of the Ballard Bridge.
In my opinion, this is one of the most exciting transportation projects in the city this year. It will connect Interbay, the Elliott Bay Trail and Magnolia to important bicycle transportation routes at the Fremont Bridge, including the Interurban route, the Burke-Gilman Trail and Dexter Ave. Where today only the brave feel comfortable riding through the interchange at the south end of the Ballard Bridge, the trail extension will make the trip more inviting for all bicycle users.
The extension will also bring us far closer to connecting the Burke-Gilman and Elliott Bay Trails. After this project, it will be possible to ride from Redmond to downtown Seattle and only spend about a mile and a half of that on city streets, mostly in bike lanes. When the waterfront construction is finished, riding from Alki to Redmond will be possible with very little on-street riding. That’s pretty cool.The Mountains-to-Sound Trail is also getting an extension this year. Construction starts this month to connect the I-90 trail from its current terminus at the Jose Rizal Bridge around the north edge of Beacon Hill to Beacon Ave S on the west side of the hill. This will dramatically change public accessibility to Jose Rizal Park, which is one of my favorite spots in the whole city. It will also provide a connection to SoDo from the I-90 Trail that does not go through the International District or over the top of Beacon Hill.
A second phase of this extension project will weave through the I-90 interchange and connect at 4th Ave S and S Royal Brougham Way (see our previous post for a map of that extension). It’s not clear what the schedule is on this section, but I will update when I learn more.