The restored Burke-Gilman Trail.
The restored Burke-Gilman Trail.

Last month, we reported on the closure of a western chunk of the Burke-Gilman Trail (BGT) near the University of Washington. At the time, Seattle City Light was conducting utility work near their substation below Interstate 5. The detours were challenging for walkers, joggers, and bicyclists along this portion the trail. The biggest pinch was felt when the bridge over 6th Ave NE was closed forcing trail users to the streets and tight sidewalks along NE 40th St and NE Pacific St.

Seattle City Light and the Seattle Department of Transportation implemented a unique, temporary cycletrack on sections of NE 40th St and NE Pacific St parallel to the BGT. While westbound traffic was rerouted off of these streets to create a one-way system, it was fraught with deeply confused bicyclists, drivers, and pedestrians–so much so that Seattle City Light had to post a video of how the detours worked.

You can't get there from here.
You can’t get there from here.
The NE 40th St reroute when it was in effect.
The NE 40th St reroute when it was in effect.

Thankfully, this work wrapped up on time and with an improved BGT. New gravel has been placed at the edges of the trail while brand new asphalt has been laid down where utility work was conducted. In total, this amounts to about 1/4 of mile resurfaced improvements. Your tires and feet will appreciate it. Meanwhile, other work continues on the BGT near the UW as contractors work to improve sections near Rainier Vista and the Montlake Triangle. Trail users should take note of the restricts and detours currently in effect (you can see them in the map below). Part of the Montlake Triangle construction will keep King County Metro Route 44 on reroute until February 17th (tomorrow).

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Article Author
Stephen Fesler
Senior Reporter

Stephen is a professional urban planner in Puget Sound with a passion for sustainable, livable, and diverse cities. He is especially interested in how policies, regulations, and programs can promote positive outcomes for communities. With stints in great cities like Bellingham and Cork, Stephen currently lives in Seattle. He primarily covers land use and transportation issues and has been with The Urbanist since 2014.