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Work on Ship Canal Trail getting closer to completion

Photo courtesy of Toby Wonder

Work on the final segment of the Ship Canal Trail is moving along. Toby Wonder sent us a couple photos of the progress last week along with a note:

Just thought I would drop you a couple pictures of the fresh new pavement they laid down on phase II of the ship canal trail today.  I did not get a pic from the west side of 15th (under west Nickerson) but when I left work they only had about 15 to 20 feet left to pave. Not sure how much work they have left to do with signage and what not but it is looking good!

PS They are laying down a new top layer on Commodore Way (some of the worst pavement in town) also so in the near future it should be smooth sailing from the Fremont bridge all the way to the locks!

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SDOT notes that work appears to be on schedule to be completed in November:

The trail is coming soon! Crews have now completed building all retaining walls for this new segment of the Ship Canal Trail, including the largest retaining wall alongside the Nickerson/15th Avenue West Ramp. Now weather becomes an important factor for paving of the trail – currently scheduled for mid October.  Following paving, the remaining work is expected to take approximately three weeks to complete.

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21 responses to “Work on Ship Canal Trail getting closer to completion”

  1. Will there be an actual wall/fence to guard peds/bikes from the tracks?

    1. Todd

      I didn’t see any as of last night. But I don’t think they need it IMHO. The trail runs parallel next to the tracks for a small segment and it’s at a safe enough distance. Plus this isn’t a major thoroughfare. It’s for small industry so the frequency and size of the trains travelling alongside us are nothing to get to alarmed over. Without a doubt, I think the cross streets are much more of a hazard than any train.

  2. Todd

    Oddly, I just rode this segment last night and followed it as far as I could using side roads and parking lots as far as 15th Ave where it clearly passes under. This means they must really be down to the nitty gritty details. The trail is not as wide in some areas but it’ll do fine. Eliminating that Emerson/Nickerson segment from my commute/ride is going to be sweet. It means I get to ride along the waterfront and ship canal from Pioneer Square all the way to Woodinville on pretty much an exclusive bike path. Yes, yes, I know you speedsters and shortest-distance-between-two-points-is-a-straight-line guys that it’s adding another 3+ miles to my commute — to which I say AWESOME.

  3. Jason

    Here’s a couple more pictures I took while they were paving last week.


  4. Lisa

    Brilliant. I’ve been looking forward to this for SO LONG.

  5. LWC

    All that’s needed now is a short stretch of trail along Gilman to connect this to the Elliot Bay trail, and we’ll have an unbroken network of bike paths from Seattle to Redmond! The east side of Gilman seems to have the room for this along much of the route. Any Magnolia residents out there know if this is in their neighborhood plan?

    1. Todd

      Not sure which trail you’re talking about? Do you mean from Ship Canal Trail to the Elliot Bay Trail? Burke-Gillman is on the other side of the canal and it’s great crossing the Freemont Bridge and down the bike lane on 34th.

      1. He’s speculating that if a trail were built along Gilman Ave (and 20th Ave W), on the Magnolia side of Interbay, then we’d have a complete bike trail link from Redmond to downtown Seattle.

        I’m not sure why anyone would willingly ride through Seattle on trails that require you to slow down to a walking pace at every street crossing (they’re not well enough designed to be called “intersections”), and that doesn’t even have any hill climbs (or descents! whee!), but… to each his own…

      2. Todd

        Ahhh, ok. Yeah, that bit of stretch there doesn’t bother me a bit. As far as road riding goes, I think it’s pretty mild really. IMHO I think it’s very tame compared to Eastlake w/ bike paths. I’m not sure putting in a path here would be worth the money. But as Al says, to each his own. I personally ride so far the stoppage doesn’t bother me and I get my fill of hills later.

      3. Todd

        Errr… that should have read Eastlake with bike LANES

    2. The connection between the Fremont Bridge and Ship Canal Trail is also wonky.

      1. Todd

        I agree but it’s do-able methinks if you ride under and catch it on the east side. I doubt anything will ever change here and I can live with it.

  6. I actually walked along the segment as far west as the railroad crossing just past 15th a couple weeks ago, and there was a gravel path laid out pretty much along the entire length. All that was needed was paving.

    1. Todd

      All the pavement is in. They just gotta do their cleanup or whatever.

      1. RTK

        I came though from the west end on the commute home today and it was open. Some locations had fence posts but no fencing yet.

        There is a strange chicane where the trail crosses the tracks, but it serves it purpose of slowing people down and putting them at a right angle to the tracks.

        Got all the way to the east end only to find that end of the trail still closed off, guess it really wasn’t open yet.

        Some new stripping and bollards at the east end, where the trail used to end. It was great avoiding the weave up and over 15th. This is a great “missing link” that looks to be very close to completion.

  7. […] relief for many of you is neigh. The Ship Canal Trail is tantalizingly close to completion, making the trip from Fisherman’s Terminal to the Fremont Bridge far easier and more […]

  8. dave

    Now that this is near completion can someone remind me why we need a bike lane on Nickerson Street between the Ballard and Fremont Bridges when we have the ship canal trail RIGHT NEXT TO Nickerson Street?

    1. Tom Fucoloro

      Because there are destinations and neighborhoods along Nickerson. The road redesign, in addition to adding bike lanes, is designed to calm traffic, reduce speeding and increase the number of safe places to cross the street on foot. This increases the safety and usability of transit, increases the accessibility of businesses and reduced traffic injuries for all road users.

      1. dave g

        Tom, Thanks for your congenial reply.

        I live in those neighborhoods (just west of SPU) and cycle to work to my job in the U district daily. Generally I get on the Ship Canal Trail at 6th and off at 3rd (due to the lack of a cross walk at 6th.)

        I can appreciate the added crosswalks and slower vehicle traffic however adding bike lanes to a street that parallels a bike trail validates the bike critics by making the city look to be wasting valuable transportation resources.

        Really as a daily bike commuter who lives in the affected area and rides the Ship Canal Trail daily, I could do without those bike lanes on Nickerson st.

    2. Clark in Vancouver

      I hear what you’re saying about criticism but eventually all streets will have some sort of cycling infrastructure on them. If a street is being redesigned anyway then some cycling on it is needed. There are different types of trails and ones meant primarily for recreation are often not suited for transportation.
      I know where I live I’m glad in the summer when the Seawall is clogged with tourists that I have other options.

      In any movement it’s important to not try to outguess detractors. The reason being is that much of the opposition isn’t from truly what they’re saying it is but it’s often either something else or it could have been someone else they are opposing. Some people are just grumpy whenever there’s any change. Not doing what’s needed to prevent opposition won’t alleviate having opposition. What’s needed is to be ready with solid truthful answers for when the criticism comes up.

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