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Burke-Gilman Trail Missing Link Project

Update: May 25, 2017

What's happening now

The Final Environmental Impact Statement (Final EIS) is now available!

Upon further evaluation of the merits of each alternative, and in consideration of the public comments received and additional studies conducted after publishing the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Draft EIS), SDOT developed a Preferred Alternative. From the Ballard Locks, the Preferred Alternative route travels:

  • Along the south side of NW 54th St and NW Market St to 24th Ave NW, where it turns onto Shilshole Ave NW
  • Along the south side of Shilshole Ave NW to NW 45th St
  • Along the south side of NW 45th St to 11th Ave NW

Review the Final EIS here.

You can also review it in print at the following locations:

Printed copies of the Final EIS Executive Summary are available to the public at no charge. Printed copies of the Final EIS, comment responses, and technical appendices are available for purchase by calling (206) 684-5000 or emailing BGT_MissingLink_Info@seattle.gov.

Final design and permitting are expected to be complete by early 2018, with construction beginning soon after. The project is anticipated to be complete in 2019.

 

Overview

The Burke-Gilman Trail (BGT) is one of the most heavily used pedestrian and bicycling facilities in Seattle, a vibrant trail connecting multiple neighborhoods and other city and regional trails. As a major, regional trail with established connections to the greater King County trail system, the Burke-Gilman serves many diverse users from communities all around northern Seattle and beyond. The Burke-Gilman Trail Missing Link Project will connect two existing portions of the Burke-Gilman Trail through the Ballard neighborhood, to complete the regional facility that otherwise runs continuously from Bothell to Golden Gardens. Currently, the trail ends at the intersection of 11th Ave NW and NW 45th St (on the east), and begins again at 30th Ave NW at the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks (on the west). The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) will connect these two segments of the BGT with a marked, dedicated route for pedestrians and cyclists. Design ofthe trail will incorporate many safety features that will help to make driving, walking, and biking along this corridor more predictable than it currently is.

This project is one of the City of Seattle's top-rated trail priorities as identified by the Bicycle Master Plan. Completing the Burke-Gilman Trail will create a complete, predictable multimodal corridor that enhances safety for pedestrians, trucks, bicycles, and cars. A complete trail network improves Seattle's health and quality of life by providing safe bicycle and pedestrian travel routes for residents of all ages.

Public involvement

Public involvement has been part of the effort to complete the BGT's Missing Link for years, both through formal approaches sponsored by the City (open houses, design workshops, meetings with various groups) and more informal ones initiated by various advocacy groups and organizations (petitions, demonstration walks and rides, published op-eds, etc.).

The Project History documents much of this public involvement, including the reports and designs that were developed over time. 

After publication of the Draft EIS in 2016 there were formal opportunities for the public to comment in writing and, during the public hearing, in person on the adequacy of the environmental analysis and the merits of the alternatives discussed.

A Final EIS was issued in May 2017 in response to the comments received and additional studies conducted after the Draft EIS was published.

You can stay informed about updates and events by signing up for email updates or connecting with the project team at BGT_MissingLink_Info@seattle.gov or 206-684-5000.

Project History

Below is a basic timeline of the project. Click on each line for additional information and links to reports and survey documents developed during that stage. For a history of the whole Burke-Gilman Trail, visit its history page.

1996

Ballard Terminal Railroad signs 30-year lease with City of Seattle for use of tracks

Seattle City Council Ordinance 118734

Operating Agreement

2001

Council directs SDOT to evaluate up to three alternative routes for completing the missing link in the BGT, engage with residential, business and bike/trail advocacy groups, and develop a project work plan. This became the Ballard Corridor Design Study.

Seattle City Council Resolution 30408

2002

Ballard Corridor Design Study public involvement

A Project Advisory Committee is established to provide guidance and input throughout the study.   The SDOT team also meets with 11 community groups in early 2002, and holds a public open house on November 19, attended by approximately 500 people.

2003

SDOT completes the Ballard Corridor Design Study
Executive Summary
Design Study
Appendix A: Conceptual Design Plans (Recommendation)
Appendix B1, B2, and B3: Cost Estimates (All Options)
Appendix B4 and B5: Cost Estimates (Recommendation)
Appendix C: Conceptual Design Plans (Open House)
Appendix D: Missing Link History
Appendix E: Cross Section Guide
Appendix F: Parking Data
Appendix G1: Green Route Photos
Appendix G2: Red Route Photos
Appendix G3: Blue Route Photos
Comments from 2002 Open House

As the culmination of the Ballard Corridor Design Study and public process, the City Council adopts Resolution 30583, which identifies the route along which SDOT shall develop the trail.

Seattle City Council Resolution 30583

2007

City of Seattle adopts the 2007 Bicycle Master Plan, which recommends completing the Burke-Gilman Trail through Ballard.

2007 Bicycle Master Plan

2007

November 15 First Design Proposal Open House (~70 attendees)
Board 1 Board 2 Board 3 Board 4

Frequently Asked Questions 
Full list of public comments received at Open House

2008

October 15 Second Design Proposal Open House (~40 attendees)
Full list of public comments received at Open House

2008

SDOT conducts environmental review of the chosen alignment and issues a Determination of Non-Significance.

SEPA Checklist
Geotech Report
Traffic Report
Cultural Resources Report
HazMat report
Parking Report
No Effect Letter
2011

Pursuant to an order from the King County Superior Court, SDOT completes additional environmental review and issues a Revised Determination of Non-Significance

Revised SEPA checklist
Shilshole Cultural Resources
Shilshole Geotech
Shilshole Hazmat
Shilshole No Effect Letter
Shilshole Parking
Shilshole Traffic
Revised DNS

2012

Pursuant to an order from the King County Superior Court, SDOT further develops the trail design and reissues the Revised Determination of Non-Significance
Reissued Revised DNS
Shilshole Design Information
Memorandum from City Traffic Engineer

2012

City of Seattle Hearing Examiner determines that an environmental impact statement (EIS) should be prepared to address traffic hazard impacts along the Shilshole Segment of the trail. SDOT decides to conduct a full EIS for the project, including the evaluation of different alternatives.

2013

SDOT issues a Scoping Notice for the EIS and hosts a meeting on August 8 to solicit public comment on the scope and alternatives to be considered in the proposed Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) (~90 attendees)

Scoping Notice

2014

The City’s Bicycle Master Plan is updated, which identifies the BGT Missing Link as one of Seattle’s top trail priorities

2014 Bicycle Master Plan

2014 SDOT hires Environmental Services Associates to prepare the EIS
2015

May - Environmental Services Associates completes their summary of comments received from the public during the EIS scoping process.

  June 18 – An open house was held at the Ballard High School Cafeteria, 1418 NW 65th Street between 6 and 8 PM to share the three alternative routes to be studied during the EIS, as well as the elements to be considered.  The boards which were presented are here and the fact sheet distributed is here. SDOT's summary of the June 18, 2015 Open House held is available here.
2016

June 16 – The Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) was published.

The Draft EIS are available here:

Complete Document
Cover Letter
Fact Sheet
EIS Executive Summary
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Project History and Alternatives
Chapter 2 Geology, Soils and Hazardous Materials
Chapter 3 Fish, Wildlife, and Vegetation
Chapter 4 Land Use
Chapter 5 Recreation
Chapter 6 Utilities
Chapter 7 Transportation
Chapter 8 Parking
Chapter 9 Air Quality and Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Chapter 10 Cultural Resources
Chapter 11 Cumulative Impacts
Chapter 12 References
Chapter 13 List of Preparers
Chapter 14 Distribution List
Appendix A Hazardous Materials Databases Reviewed
Appendix B Emission Estimates Tabulations
Technical Appendix A Land Use Discipline Report
Technical Appendix B Transportation Discipline Report
Technical Appendix C Parking Discipline Report
Technical Appendix D Cultural Resources Discipline Report
Technical Appendix E Economic Considerations Report

July 14 & 16 – Open houses are held, with over 270 people attending. 

August 1 – The comment period on the DEIS ends.  SDOT receives over 4,000 comments in letters, cards, emails and other submissions.

2017 February 15 - SDOT announces that the Ballard and Leary alternatives have been dropped from further consideration in the Final EIS in testimony before the Sustainability & Transportation Committee viewable here.
2017

May 25 – The Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is published. The Final EIS is available here:

Complete Document
Cover Letter
Fact Sheet
Final EIS Executive Summary
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Project History and Alternatives
Chapter 2: Geology, Soils, and Hazardous Materials
Chapter 3: Fish, Wildlife, and Vegetation
Chapter 4: Land Use
Chapter 5: Recreation
Chapter 6: Utilities
Chapter 7: Transportation
Chapter 8: Parking
Chapter 9: Air Quality and Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Chapter 10: Cultural Resources
Chapter 11: Cumulative Impacts
Chapter 12: References
Chapter 13: List of Preparers
Chapter 14: Distribution List
Appendix A – AutoTURN Analysis
Appendix B – Hazardous Materials Databases Reviewed
Appendix C – Emissions Estimates Tabulations
Draft EIS Comments and Responses – Part 1
Draft EIS Comments and Responses – Part 2
Draft EIS Comments and Responses – Part 3
Technical Appendix A – Updates and Errata to the Land Use Discipline Report
Technical Appendix B – Transportation Discipline Report
Technical Appendix C – Parking Discipline Report

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