Seattle Parks starting Burke-Gilman Trail repairs from U Village to the city line

Map of Northeast Seattle with red boxes showing the various work zones.

Work zones are marked in red. They will not all be under construction at the same time. Images from Seattle Parks.

Seattle Parks is getting ready to start fixing bumpy pavement and outdated bollards on some of the oldest sections of the Burke-Gilman Trail between 30th Ave NE (just east of U Village) to the city’s northern border with Lake Forest Park. So be ready for a summer of short detours as crews go section-by-section to complete this work.

Work is scheduled to begin this month. And some of the detours look like they include some tough climbing.

Much of this section of trail has not been paved since the 70s, so we have really gotten a lot out of that investment. But sections of the trail have deteriorated significantly since then either due to erosion or tree roots. In many sections, the trail has lost significant width due to the edges crumbling away over time. We have also learned a lot about trail design and construction since the city first laid this asphalt on top of the old railbed 41 years ago.

Below are the planned detour diagrams from the contractor for each segment. They will not all be in effect at the same time. I have not yet tested them, though some look tough. If you are familiar with these side streets, let us know your thoughts in the comments below (the orientation of the maps switch around, so remember that “streets” are usually east-west and “avenues” are usually north-south):

Map showing the trail will be detoured along NE Blakeley Street between 30th and 35th Avenues NE.Map showing a detour along NE 52nd Place between NE 51st and 52nd Streets.

Map showing a detour on 54th Ave NE between NE 65th and 63rd Streets.

The document does not note whether the existing protected bike lane on NE 65th Street will be extended to accommodate this detour.

Map showing a detour along 58th Ave NE between NE 65th and 77th Streets

Map showing a detour along Riviera Place NE between NE 112th Street and Lakeside Place NE.

Map showing a detour along 42nd Ave NE between NE 125th Street and 42nd Place NE. It also shows a detour along Riviera Place NE between 42nd Ave NE and 40th Ave NE.

Note: I’m pretty sure that is supposed to be 42nd Ave NE, not NE 142nd Ave. This one looks very tough. Don’t let the map fool you, a section of Riviera Pl is missing, which is why the detour is so long. I hope Parks can finish this one as quickly as possible, because this could be very disruptive for folks who can’t climb that ridge. Perhaps they could finish the south section as quickly as possible, then open a detour to Riviera Pl while they work on the rest?

More details from Seattle Parks:

Seattle Parks and Recreation(SPR) will begin working on repaving 39 sections on the Burke-Gilman Trail in northeast in early June 2019. The work will take place between 30th Ave. NE and the King County/Seattle border near NE 145th St. SPR awarded the construction contract to Northwest Asphalt, Inc. Work is scheduled to be completed by late summer 2019.

This project will repair sections of the trail, remove areas of asphalt in disrepair, remove invasive roots that are causing upheaval, and replace those sections with new asphalt. Additionally, with funding from the Seattle Department of Transportation(SDOT) bollards at 24 intersections along the trail will be removed and sections impacted by bollard removal will be paved. The contractor will work on one section at a time, from southwest to northeast to reduce the impact to trail users.

Trail sections were determined by 2015 condition-assessment work done in collaboration with SDOT and reconfirmed in spring 2017.

Cyclists and pedestrians will be detoured around the construction area onto side streets. SPR and SDOT worked together on detour routes and we recommend trail users visit www.seattle.gov/parks/about-us/current-projects/burke-gilman-trail-repairs for detailed detour routes. Thank you in advance for your cooperation and patience during construction.

The Seattle Park District provides $250,000 in funding for this Burke-Gilman Trail improvement project. Approved by voters in 2014, the Seattle Park District provides more than $47 million a year in long-term funding for Seattle Parks and Recreation including maintenance of parklands and facilities, operation of community centers and recreation programs, and development of new neighborhood parks on previously acquired sites.

For more information, please visit www.seattle.gov/parks/about-us/current-projects/burke-gilman-trail-repairs or contact Sandi Albertsen, Project Manager, at sandra.albertsen@seattle.gov or 206-684-8938.

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5 Responses to Seattle Parks starting Burke-Gilman Trail repairs from U Village to the city line

  1. Forrest says:

    Thanks for the update. I’m wondering about the bollard aspect of this project.

    We have discussions every few months about bollards, and there are both those in favor of removing them (as a safety issue), and those who want bollards to keep vehicles out (as a safety issue). These discussions usually coincide with reports of people driving on the trail…

    I’m just wondering what the plans are – replace them with newer bollards? Are there other options to keep people from driving onto the trails?

    • Tom Fucoloro says:

      The standard is to remove bollards in most situations because they are more likely to cause an injury (someone striking one) than prevent an injury (someone driving on the trail and hurting someone). However, if trail driving proves to be a recurring issue somewhere, then that’s a place where a bollard is appropriate.

  2. Que says:

    Time to turn those illegal stop signs 90 degrees as well.

  3. orange wheels says:

    Oy, some of these are rough!

    the first one requires trail users to cross the newly painted Jenny Durkan Speedway (aka 35th ave NE, which turns into 45th pl NE). Trail users won’t have as much as a crosswalk to help them cross 40 mph traffic whose sight lines are blocked by the burke’s trestle and the blind curve. This is a disaster. I’m not sure how they can make this safe.

    The others are mostly just VERY steep climbs. the one at 125th is a 15% grade, and 65th is a 9% climb.

  4. Gary Anderson says:

    The project description on the Seattle Parks website says that “no repaving will take place in SDOT right-of-way.” Does this mean that anywhere the BGT crosses a street that portion of the street won’t be repaved? Some of the worst sections of the BGT are street crossings north of Matthews Beach. The street crossing at NE 77th was recently repaved, NICE! Why skip the little used street crossings further north? Seems like a gross oversight.

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