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Large Burke-Gilman Trail project running more than a month behind

From King County Parks

Bad news for Burke-Gilman Trail users who have been dealing with a nasty detour: Work on the trail is not expected to be fully complete until January 31.

Reader Lori M noted the date change on a construction sign and left this comment on a previous post:

Originally planned for reopening in December, the project required the closing of several miles of the trail north of the Seattle border. The official detour adds over two miles of hilly roadways compared to the flat trail separated from motorized traffic. It has been closed since June.

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The completion date is very weather dependent at this point, according to King County Parks. From Doug Williams at KC Parks:

Tom: Yes and no on Jan. 31 completion date. Right now, we’re hoping to get the northern portion of the trail – from Logboom to Balinger – open in mid-December; the remainder of the trail should be completed by Jan. 31, which means you’re right – we’re a month and change behind where we thought we’d be when we set up our original schedule.

Weather permitting – and that’s a big if right now – we’re hoping to get the actual paving wrapped up in just a few more work days. Then comes installation of the fencing, the trail lighting, the bollards, the remaining concrete flatwork (the intersection treatments), landscaping and a litany of other items. Some of the work is very weather dependent, so the actual completion date of the project, along with the earlier opening of that northern stretch, could vary.

Hang in there…

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15 responses to “Large Burke-Gilman Trail project running more than a month behind”

  1. Sean

    Weather dependent? You can say that again. One might argue the existing BGT sections with tree root and rut issues (Fremont ship canal park before the repair, areas between UW and Sandpoint campuses are great examples of this) can be blamed on inadequate compaction–proper subgrade compaction simply cannot be achieved when the ground is frozen or too wet, thus ensues settlement, and/or a plethora of tree root intrusion… but such talk presumes that a civil engineering tech./construction quality assurance (CQA) specialist would actually be spot checking for compaction for a bike trail (a big if!). Going cheap on the CQA now will just mean another long term closure all the sooner. A tough tradeoff though for sure for those fighting freeway speed traffic on alternate routes.

  2. Todd

    I saw this post last weekend and ran into a couple with — and this is hearsay — inside scoop who had some ties within the government. Apparently there were some unexpected wiring that was not planned for (i.e. telephone stuff I believe) and discovered stuff in the ground that the county had used as a dumping ground. That’s pretty nebulous but it sounds about right.

  3. michaela

    Anyone that does road construction knows that around here you need to have your paving completed by the end of October, or else you’re going to run into problems with the weather. Without a window of relatively dry weather with temps above 40 degrees, they’ll be hard pressed to have the project completed by the end of January. Throw in any other problems like mudslides along the areas that haven’t been paved yet, and we’ll be lucky to be riding the trail by springtime. It sounds like some pretty lousy construction planning and management on the part of the City of LFP.

  4. basketlover

    The chunks are blowing in the wind my friends….. The chunks are blowing in the wind……

  5. AG

    Well to be fair they did pour most (all?) of the concrete flatwork already. Concrete is more weather sensitive than asphalt, which can be poured in light rain and lower temps.

    That said, that month of June in which the trail was closed and fenced, but no work started is biting us in the rear. Still burns me up.

    And the project is being run by King County not the City of Lake Forest Park. Not to say the City hasn’t been a problem regarding this project for years.

    1. michaela

      Yes, I did realize after I posted my comment that it is King County who is (mis)managing the project. Still, very frustrating that they couldn’t get it done in time.

      1. Todd

        Yeah it blows.

  6. anthony

    But we’re not surprised, at least I’m not. I feel for those daily BGT commuters, I also feel fortunate to no longer work in Bothell and make that trip. LFP really was the pits, don’t miss that place one iota and better yet they get no money from me!

    It always seemed that is where the cops would hang out, hated those two intersections right in the middle of town(if you can call it that).

  7. AG

    I was convinced a two year, phased approach was better as it could be less disruptive; build the so. half first then the north etc… but now that the city of LFP has had elections and the same folks who spent $300k taking the upgrade to the Growth Mngmt Hearings Board and delaying by years the project, I was wrong. Get the whole thing done now! In fact get it done asap before these clowns start screwing things up again.

  8. steeltofu

    Wait, are you saying that a county construction job is going to be finished behind scedule?

  9. Boh

    King County in quotes. My thoughts not in quotes.

    “Redeveloping this 30-year old corridor has proved to be a challenging project. A 30 year old narrow corridor, topography constraints, limited access, poor soil conditions, underground utility conflicts, difficult permit conditions……… all impacted construction activities.”

    Much or most of that was known going into the project, in my opinion.

    “Due to the impacts to the construction activities the revised contract completion date is April 24, 2012. We anticipate completing the project ahead of the revised schedule. All of the above mentioned constraints impacted which activities could be done and when. The contractor has done an excellent job in constructing the trail as cost effective and as efficiently as possible given the many problems that have been encountered.”

    “You may visit the project website for up to date information at www.kingcounty.gov/burkegilmantrail ”

    That page has no information about the delay. Even if the County cannot post a reopening date, it ought to give a heads-up to those who plan their commutes based on the reopening.

    “A specific date for reopening the trail can’t be identified at this time. The north end of the trail, from Ballinger Way to Logboom Park is on track to re-open by the end of the year and the rest of the trail will remain closed until late January.”

  10. Peter

    The whole project is a monumental waste of money and the planning sucks, that is if you aren’t one of those guys sitting out there all day doing very little. There was nothing wrong with the trail before they started. Now we will have a short 2 mile section that’s twice as wide as the rest of the trail.

  11. Jon

    I’m still a little boggled by the detour. It was clearly skewed to appease the residents along the trail from enduring any traffic from bicyclists along the private and public roads that parallel the trail.

    With just a little foresight the project could have been broken into smaller demolition and paving sections that allow for key short sections to be closed for short periods to complete paving returning these key sections to service much quicker. This would have allowed for access to reasonable detours paralleling the trail. It just wasn’t looked at from the trail-user’s perspective.

    It’s probably the trail user’s lack of coordinate activism during project planning, but it just could have been planned for less disruption to the users requiring only short closures that required really bad detours. What we got was a widow maker detour for 6++ months. It’s really a discouraging route.

  12. Bob

    OK, I found a reasonable detour, only costing me some short minutes, as have others. Since there is a delay, I am giving this out to the public.

    This is for southbound; for northbound, reverse things.

    At the Bothell Way intersection in LFP with Starbucks, take the road to 165TH.

    Go up 165TH to Bothell Way.

    I walk my bike against traffic (although the shoulder is quite wide) until I get to the sidewalk, where I ride (and stop and yield for the rare pedestrian). Some use the bus lane, going southbound.

    Turn left on NE 153RD (traffic light).

    Take an immediate right.

    Take the next right.

    Take the next left, then take the next left down the hill.

    Cross over the BG trail, then take the right on the waterfront road. In both directions, especially northbound in the evening, when a vehicle approaches, I pull over, stop, and yield. I enjoy having a good relationship with the people who live off that narrow road, and I think it gives cyclists a good name to toot.

    Go until about the equivalent of 143RD, then get on the trail.

  13. […] only is the large reconstruction of the Burke-Gilman Trail north of Seattle behind schedule, but costs have almost doubled, the Seattle Times […]

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