King County Parks sent out a notice Tuesday morning warning of an emergency closure of the Burke-Gilman Trail near Ballinger Way in Lake Forest Park. A tree has become unstable near the trail bridge, and crews expect to work through most of the daylight hours Tuesday to remove it.
Work should be wrapped up by 4 p.m. for the evening rush. If you are using the trail before then, expect delays.
Details from King County Parks:
A short stretch of King County’s Burke-Gilman Trail through Lake Forest Park will be closed today, Jan. 13, as crews remove a large cottonwood tree that is suddenly leaning across the trail near the pedestrian bridge on the 17100 block of Ballinger Way NE.
No detour is available while this emergency tree removal operation is underway, which is expected to begin between 8 and 8:30 a.m. this morning and last until 4 p.m. this afternoon.
I think that bridge is just west of where the trail intersects Ballinger… so the detour, eastbound, if you don’t want to cut through parking lots, would be:
– Left on NE 170th St
– Cross the highway, then take the next left
– Right on Brookside
– Right on 44th Ave NE
– Right on NE 178th St
– Right on Ballinger (this stretch of Ballinger is often congested and has no bike lanes but does have sidewalks; it was used as part of the detour during the big resurfacing project a few years ago)
– Left back onto the trail (can be done either from the left turn lane, angling directly toward the trail when it’s your turn to go, or as a two-stage maneuver using the crosswalks)
If you’d rather cut through parking lots than go all the way around the shopping center, turn right instead of left after getting across the highway, and follow the major parking lot aisle until it dumps you out on Ballinger.
Westbound detours are exactly these in reverse — this means more left turns, and fewer of the turns are just where roads end, so take care to look for the street signs! If you miss the left from 178th to 44th, don’t despair, you can just take the next left onto Brookside (signs at that intersection also indicate 180th and Perkins to the right) and you’ll be back on the route shortly.
Also many of the inland routes in this area are scenic (but hilly)!