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Small stretch of Burke-Gilman Trail in Lake Forest Park opens in time for Xmas

From King County Parks

King County Parks has a Christmas present for Burke-Gilman Trail users. The eastern-most section of the closed trail is completed and open, connecting Ballinger Way and Log Boom Park.

It’s not a complete opening of the delayed and over budget trail reconstruction project, but it’s something! It removes a section of nasty detour and gives people a taste of what the new trail will be like when it is all completed (planned for late January).

From King County Parks:

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The major redevelopment of a 2.2-mile-long stretch of King County’s Burke-Gilman Trail through Lake Forest Park reaches a milestone today when the easternmost portion of the trail project is completed and opens for public use.

Approximately .7 miles of freshly rebuilt trail from Log Boom Park to Ballinger Way opens today at noon, and features wider pavement plus new lighting, improved road crossings, fencing and other safety upgrades.

Gone with the reopening of this stretch of trail are the temporary stairs that trail users had to navigate in order to access the designated detour route.

Here’s a map of the newly-opened section:

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20 responses to “Small stretch of Burke-Gilman Trail in Lake Forest Park opens in time for Xmas”

  1. Chuck Erickson

    Can’t wait until they are done. That section of the trail was so painful to ride on!

  2. Gary

    Hmm, the part of the missing trail I hated to ride is the next bit South on 522. Still better to have this bit done than nothing.

  3. Anthony

    Glad to see at least a part of it open again. It looks actually quite nice, I visit a LBS in Kenmore regularly so I may have to give it a try real soon. It has to be a big improvement over the mid 90s version I used to ride!

  4. Todd

    I’m sure they’ll find another reason to delay it and milk the taxpayers. That’s right and I haven’t even been drinking.

    1. Gary

      Maybe you should take it up? You might feel better, at least for a while.

      Anyway recognize that all governments waste money. The key is to keep them from making things worse when they do it. And a bike trail even an overpriced repair, is making things better, vs say more lanes on 405, or subsidies for GMO food, or name your favorite stupid thing.

      Meantime remember a month after it opens no one but us wonks will remember that it’s over budget and behind schedule.

      1. Todd

        Actually, Gary, I don’t care. It’s not my city nor my money. And yes, I I will be one of the few lucky ones that benefit from this for many years.

  5. Bubba Mike

    In fact it is a private company that is doing the work, not government crews. Believe me private enterprise wastes as much money as government with less accountability.

    And as someone who remembers when you had to ride on Bothell Way between Log Boom and the Sammamish Trail I’m glad to see work progress.

    1. RTK

      It’s this kind of flashback that makes me grateful for all the bike infrastructure that is getting put in place. The ride east was difficult, but the ride west having to get across Bothell Way was not for the faint at heart. Thanks for the memories Bubba.

  6. Schnee

    Rode it this morning. Nice not having to dismount for the steps anymore. It’s definitely much more open (less foliage) on the North side of the trail. We’ll know how good this repair is one a few years when the new roots start to grow.

  7. Todd

    I finally rode the new section from Logboom to Ballinger Way. It’s about twice the width of the previous one and has a clear open view of the LFP homes on the lake. That oughtta satisfy them now — as there is a 4-5 ft. fence and wide open views so us low class bikers can no longer lurk in the dark and behind the trees and rob them blind. I’m sorta surprised it was three times as high and reinforced with barbed wire.

    But I can say w/o a doubt the view coming into Ballinger is so much safer. You can see cars on all sides now. All in all the new is terrific. I don’t agree w/ the previous poster’s comments about roots — I think it will survive quite nicely. My only concern is the water does build up where the old trail meets the new — but really — what did you want for 6 million dollars??

    1. Bob

      Right, and I’m nearly certain Beach Dr NE is a public road, so it seems odd (at best) to put barbed wire between a public trail and a public road.

      1. Tom Fucoloro

        I think Todd meant he’s surprised it’s NOT “three times as high and reinforced with barbed wire.”

        The fence is definitely strange.

      2. Bob

        Thanks for the clarification, Tom. Besides what I already wrote, I’m always on the lookout for unnecessarily depriving trail users a nice view of the lake. I’ve only ridden the new section once, and I don’t know if the fence partially impedes any lake views (I know the houses are packed pretty tight). There is an area further south, with not house, so a possible nice little stretch of lake view, but the chain link fencing has wood strips, and ivy growing above the top. Just kind of a shame.

        However just south of 145TH, I think, the one stretch with a view, someone super generously put a concrete bench next to the trail. I’ve only used it once, but really enjoyed the hospitality. I must say I’ve had some nice conversations with Riviera Place residents during the trail closure.

  8. Lori M

    Has anyone tried it out at night? This was one of the darkest parts of the trail, along with the bumpiest from all the roots, so I’m pleased to read about new lighting.
    The opening of the rest of it can’t happen soon enough!

  9. Lori M

    Ok, finally made it over to the newly opened section after dark. Interesting… There ARE lights but they were not on. Hubby said “maybe they’re waiting.” But waiting for what? Trails open, its January at night. Doesn’t get much darker than
    The signs at the trail entrance across from Starbucks now say Jan 31 for opening, but, ominously, there are now no dates on the fences that block the trail on either side at 165th. Sadly, I’m afraid waiting until February (or march?) Starts to seem like a possibility…

  10. Rob S

    The job schedule calls for the electrical work (lighting) to be complete 1/13/12. Anybody wanna hold their breath?

    1. Todd


  11. Bob

    Keep in in mind that (as of late 2011, from King County): “… the revised contract completion date is April 24, 2012. We anticipate completing the project ahead of the revised schedule.”

    So no, don’t hold your breath. And even that date could be delayed. I imagine it will all be done MUCH sooner, but they’ve got *endless* options for when it actually is completed.

  12. Bob

    The County’s 1/24/2012 update/…


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

    There were three work days after that, yet I haven’t noticed any work on this one little area. Why can’t they just get that little concrete job done!, so the trail can open?

  13. […] 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 […]

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