Trail Alert: Year-long County wastewater project could create some Elliott Bay Trail delays

Project area, from the King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks (project update PDF)

The Denny Way Regulator Station Upgrade project area, from the King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks (project update PDF)

King County is beginning work this week on a delayed waterwater regulator project in Myrtle Edwards Park that could disrupt the Elliott Bay Trail.

The project worksite entrance is at the south entrance to the trail near the Sculpture Garden, an area that can get congested with people biking and walking.

The County says flaggers will control traffic during “temporary periods of trail narrowing.”

A 2014 detour at this spot caused a small headache as crews installing a sculpture tried to get people biking to walk their bikes on the shared biking and walking path adjacent to the closed bike trail. But the delays were nowhere near as frustrating as the annual Hempfest closure in the park.

The Elliott Bay Trail is not only a wonderful waterside bike route, it’s also a major transportation corridor for people biking to get around the city and region. When crews treat it as a transportation corridor, things go well. When crews treat it as solely a recreational area or park, people trying to get home from work tend to get cranky.

More details from the King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks (PDF):

Starting this week, the King County Wastewater Treatment Division will begin construction work at the Denny Way Regulator Station in Myrtle Edwards Park on Elliott Bay. The project, previously expected to start in September 2016, was delayed until January 2017.

Construction access to the site will be mainly from the south entrance of the Myrtle Edwards Park. Only concrete delivery vehicles will access the work site from the north entrance of the park. The work will take approximately one year to complete. King County will notify the community if the schedule changes.

What to Expect

  • Work hours between 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Periods of extended hours as needed pending approval from the City of Seattle.
  • Temporary periods of trail narrowing. Flaggers will direct vehicles, pedestrians, and bicycles through the area.
  • Noise close to the work area.
  • Work and equipment will be confined to the project site, designated staging, and parking areas.
  • Disturbed trails and paths will be restored.

About Tom Fucoloro

Founder and Editor of Seattle Bike Blog.
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5 Responses to Trail Alert: Year-long County wastewater project could create some Elliott Bay Trail delays

  1. Matthew Snyder says:

    I realize it’s a different section of the same trail, but…

    Is there anything in the works to rehab the section of the Elliott Bay Trail north of the Magnolia Bridge? This is the section where you’re penned in, stuck in a comically narrow chute between two chain link fences, with the tracks just to the east. There’s a ton of asphalt just to the west of the trail — it really seems like you could easily widen the trail at least a few feet to the west with no real impact to the adjacent land use (mostly truck parking?). I realize it’s not that simple, with easements and all that, but it does seem like an unsafe spot with a rather obvious fix.

  2. Southeasterner says:

    Would love for someone to ask King County what weight bearing load the Elliott Bay Trail was designed to handle. My guess is it was designed to handle the weight of a light-truck maintenance vehicle around 5,000 pounds, at best, but was probably more likely designed for ped/bike type weight loads.

    What we see every year with Hemp Fest is hundreds of heavy vehicles using the bike trail to access spots and every year we see rapid degradation in the quality of the trail, however as the event typically happens in slightly drier end of summer weather it’s probably not as bad as it could be.

    For this project they are talking about driving 66,000 pound cement trucks in what will likely be wet winter conditions. Does anyone maybe think this is an awful idea that will do millions of dollars of damage to the trail?

    It seems like a much more logical (and cost effective) approach would be to park the cement mixers at the old Seattle PI building across the tracks and run a cement reacher thing, that they use to shoot cement up to higher floors on almost every project site in downtown Seattle, to feed cement to the site.

    • Gary Anderson says:

      There is also a gravel service road on the park side of the railroad tracks that comes from the grain terminal south to about 0.2 miles from the construction site. Seems like routing heavy trucks down this route would be less disruptive than going through the Pier 70 Sculpture Park end. Rather than drive on the bike and pedestrian paths this route would allow the contractor to build a temporary road and just cross the bike path. After construction, just remove the road and restore.

  3. Law Abider says:

    This is nothing compared to how screwed up 7th Ave has been, between Denny and Virginia, for the last 2+ years. Contractors have had pretty much free reign of the street/bike lanes/sidewalks and there’s no end in sight, with a building just under construction and at least two more in the docket.

  4. R says:

    Keeping concrete trucks in the grain terminal rail yard would sure be nice for the trail if the grain terminal will play nice. It wouldn’t be a big deal to install a gate in the fence. I wonder how much leverage the Port has with Dryfuss terminals and if the Port would be willing to help King County.

    There was a gift of funds for a bike counter installation in 2013. Does anybody know if one was actually installed, data showing use might help get more mitigation for bike commuters. r

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