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Burke-Gilman Trail will reopen Friday at noon

Image from King County Parks

No number of exclamation marks could accurately express the excitement of this news. The Burke-Gilman Trail will reopen tomorrow at noon after being closed for nearly eight months.

Reconstruction of the vital link went significantly over-budget, and completion was delayed by nearly two months.

The closure was particularly hard for people who depend on the trail to get around because there were no viable detour options, and the state refused to properly accommodate the displaced bicycle riders on 522, the only continuous parallel roadway. Thousands of people on bikes used this stretch of trail every day before the closure. The only options during the closure were to take to the highway (not appealing to most) or to ride a hilly five-mile signed detour.

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The reconstructed trail includes:

The redevelopment project improved the safety of the trail by widening it to a 12-foot trail with soft surface shoulders, enhancing traffic controls and intersection and crossing treatments, and installing lighting and other trail amenities. Other upgrades include a new stormwater system, retaining walls, slope stabilization, replacement of the Lyon Creek Bridge, and installation of native vegetation.

Now the main question is: Who wants to bike to Red Hook Brewery with me this weekend?

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28 responses to “Burke-Gilman Trail will reopen Friday at noon”

  1. basketlover

    It’s so cool they cut down the tree that used to be in that image but not the ivy covered fence the benches look at. Nothing like sitting there admiring the ivy how the ivy is growing.

    1. David

      Seriously! Why are those benches not facing towards the trail?!

      1. Jonathan Callahan

        When parents with small children walk the trail they will sit down on a bench while their kids sit/stand/play in front of them. It’s probably a good idea to get the little ones off to the side with this arrangement of the benches.

    2. Dave L

      I dunno, I like ivy.. :)

  2. Bruce Nourish

    This is splendid news. Are there any updates on the Missing Link?

    1. Tom Fucoloro

      Last I heard on the Missing Link, they were going to just use the miles of court documents and environmental studies as a sort of eco-friendly pavement surface…

      1. Doug Bostrom

        Nearly lost my coffee on that one. +1!

      2. Todd

        If and when this ever happens…. it’ll be a major victory for the biking community. What I would like to see now is some more effort developing the south county now. The North has got their fair share of excellent biking paths. Let’s extend that through to Tacoma at least.

  3. Dave L

    Woohoo! No more riding up that obnoxious hill on 40th Ave and risking the highway back down to where the trail picked back up. Best news ever.

  4. AG

    It’s like a landing strip at Sea Tac. Very nice. Wide. Most all of the vegetation is gone so it kind of looks like a moonscape. But the sight lines are better and safe. Very happy it’s finally done.

    BTW those are new benches replacing old benches that were in the same location. The old benches also faced the ivy covered fence. There is now a section of fence without ivy so you can see the lake. Not panorama, but a view.

  5. Stephen M

    Seriously, really happy the BGT is back up and running, but those benches are facing the WRONG way. Oh well, details . . .

    1. Sarah

      I can see a benefit to the way they are facing. Imagine parents sitting there with their little kids, or dog walkers with their dogs sitting at their feet. The benches and the people resting on them are a barrier keeping their kids and dogs from accidentally getting onto the trail. But I’d rather sit facing the trail.

  6. Todd

    I actually have nothing bad to say this time except sweet. I’m looking forward to it. It’s been a long time coming.

  7. biliruben

    Very exciting!

  8. Timo

    On your left! Thank You, have a great ride.

  9. Mare

    I am so going to ride the extra 20 miles home today just to be one of the first to ride the BGT again! Hooray!

  10. […] stuff in this week’s Bike News Roundup. Then you should leave early and take a spin on the newly-reconstructed Burke-Gilman Trail, which opened at noon. Your boss is the […]

  11. Thats great news!!

  12. Bub

    I hope you all got your BGT/LFP “Good to Go” passes; otherwise, if you use the BGT through LFP, you’ll be getting a bill in the mail for a much higher amount!

    OK, I’m just kidding. Sorry for the nonsense.

    See you at the 4Caster Saturday, Tom. I’ll buy you an ale.

    Bub (in the corner)

  13. Kenneth Weigel

    I do not know how much this “upgrade” cost, but I have ridden this trail many times, and all it really needed was repaving. Sure, it is much better now, but gold plating everything with taxpayer money is NOT the way to balance the budget. I suspect that there was a large amount of “federal” money “donated” in the form of “grants.” This is NOT free money people! It is OUR money, and when you add up all the “grants” that occur throughout the U.S., you end up with the the trillion dollar debt we are now facing every year.

    1. Todd

      Ken, you speak my words and I’m not even a Republican. I’ve done my bitchin’ here and you’re speaking to the wrong crowd. Anyway, this was already paid for (ha! I knew it would go over budget) and it’s time to stop belly achin’ It’s first rate and they took care of the community and not just the bikers. I have to think the homeowners in the area really appreciate it as well. It’s just all around much safer for everyone and the adjacent property owners got improvements as well.

      So I say the debate is over and deal with it. It’s such a great improvement that it sadly makes riding on the rest of the trail disappointing now.

    2. Bruce Nourish

      What a remarkably uninformed rant. The reason the trail needed this “gold-plated” repaving now is that the original trail was done cheaply by throwing down some rock with asphalt on top. Tree roots had grown into the trail and heaved up and cracked parts of the surface. Having now been properly excavated and paved, the trail should not need major attention for decades.

      Regarding funding, a few minutes of simple research on the King County website will lead you to this document:


      Which states:

      “This redevelopment project is expected to cost $2.69 million and is being funded by the voter-approved 2008–2013 Parks Expansion Levy.”

      The construction work ran late and over budget due to unforeseen difficulties. This Seattle Times article described how King County covered the overruns:


      “Of the $2.2 million additional cost, […] $1.3 million is being funded through cost savings from the recently completed construction project on the East Lake Sammamish Trail through Redmond. The rest comes from open-space bonds, parks capital funds and the county’s general fund.”

      So, no federal dollars whatsoever.

      In future, please educate yourself before running your mouth or keyboard. If you aren’t willing to do that, I’m sure there’s a local Tea Party Patriot forum somewhere where your hysterical, uninformed, anti-government rantings will fit in perfectly.

      1. Jeremy

        So, what, something like $5 million? That would cover like 0.014% of the recent $35,000 million Boeing Airforce fueling tanker contract. Someone has to keep the stratosphere safe, I guess.

      2. Todd

        Bruce nailed it.

  14. […] off by Seattle Bike Blog to the Burke-Gilman Trail reopening–a northern segment was completely repaved up by Kenmore–The SunBreak’s bicycling […]

  15. CertainSteel

    I don’t like it. The new section just makes all the root bumps stand out that much more on the rest of the trail.

  16. […] Burke-Gilman Trial has been open for weeks, but now King County is making it official (though you may have to leave work early to […]

  17. […] bumpy section of trail is at the eastern end of the 2.2-mile section of trail painfully reconstructed last year. The work is paid from the county’s trail and maintenance fund. Reddit This entry […]

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