Construction of the huge new Expedia campus along the Seattle waterfront includes a rebuild of a section of the Elliott Bay Trail as the path transitions from industrial Interbay to the waterfront.
The new trail will soften what today is a sharp turn in the trail at the mouth of the Smith Cove Waterway, which should be a significant improvement to the trail, creating separate walking and biking paths and expanding the surrounding park space.
But trail and utility work will require a detour for more than a year. Originally scheduled to begin in mid-July, the detour start has been pushed back to August 1. Expedia has also made changes to the initial detour plan, which now includes a temporary trail along the low-traffic Alaskan Way W between W Galer Street and the grain silos. Though the detour route is less scenic than the current trail, it is actually a little bit shorter:
“After consultation with SDOT and advice from Cascade Bicycle Club, we are implementing additional safety measures,” Expedia spokesperson Annie Gustafson wrote in an email. “Perhaps most significantly, pedestrians will no longer be routed over the Helix Bridge during the temporary closure. Instead, they will share an 8-foot lane with other trail users.”
Though the detour is being pushed back a couple weeks, Expedia still expects the reopening to happen on schedule in fall 2019.
More details from Expedia:
Summary of safety measures during Elliott Bay Trail detour starting Aug. 1:
- Moved the temporary pedestrian trail to Alaskan Way.
- Bikes/peds to share an 8’ lane. Large delineator “candles” will be placed on the east edge of Alaskan Way to create the shared bike/pedestrian lane for the entire length of the reroute.
- The remaining 14’ along Alaskan will be a single lane of vehicle traffic that will be regulated by flaggers during work hours, 6:30 a.m. – 3 p.m., and by a portable traffic signal during nonwork hours.
- Additional bike/ped stenciling or “sharrows” will be added to Alaskan Way at 100’ intervals
- Lower speed limit: 15 mph
- Motor vehicle crossings will be demarcated with painted indicators
We would like to thank Cascade, in particular, for their strategic counsel on the reduced speed limit and the separate bike/ped lane on Alaska Way.