Burke-Gilman Trail Missing Link Project

What's Happening Now

The project team completed 90% design in November 2017. The presentation from our October 12th Open House can be found in our project library.

If you were not able to attend one of our recent outreach events, you can view event summaries in our project library

What's next?

Final design is expected to be complete by the end of 2017, with construction beginning in mid-2018. The project is anticipated to be complete in 2019.

Overview

The Burke-Gilman Trail is a regional, mixed-use facility that runs east from Golden Gardens Park in Seattle to the Sammamish River Trail in Bothell. The 20-mile trail serves as a major transportation corridor for commuters and recreational users. The trail is complete except for a 1.4-mile segment through the Ballard neighborhood, known as the "Missing Link."

Completing the Missing Link would create a safe, direct, and defined multi-use trail for persons of all abilities. It would also improve predictability for motorized and non-motorized users along the alignment and maintain truck and freight access to the industrial and water-dependent businesses within the Ballard Interbay Northend Manufacturing and Industrial Center (BINMIC). The Missing Link has been included in the City's comprehensive plan since the early 1990s, and is identified as one of the City of Seattle's top-rated trail priorities in the 2014 Bicycle Master Plan.

An illustrated map depicts the Burke-Gilman Trail and its one point four-mile missing segment in Ballard.

Completing the Burke-Gilman Trail will create a complete and predictable corridor that enhances safety for pedestrians, trucks, bicycles, and cars.

Throughout the environmental review process, SDOT sought input from the community on potential routes and impacts through events and formal comment periods. Commenters on the Missing Link Project’s Draft EIS expressed a strong preference for placing the route along Shilshole Ave NW. Of the over 4,400 comments received on the Draft EIS, 77% noted preference for the Shilshole South Alternative. However, a number of comments expressed concerns over placing the trail in front of the industrial and water-dependent businesses along the Shilshole corridor.

To inform SDOT's selection of a preferred corridor, SDOT further consulted with the local maritime, industrial, freight, bicycle, and pedestrian communities to select the Preferred Alternative, a combination of the Shilshole South and Shilshole North Alternatives. To learn more, read the project’s frequently asked questions and answers.

The Missing Link Project is a Seattle priority that has been in development for decades. The City is devoted to completing the Missing Link quickly to fulfill its commitment to the community and to be most efficient with taxpayer dollars.

Public Involvement

All stakeholders-including local workers, freight drivers, trail users, and members of the industrial and maritime communities-are important members of the Ballard community. To assure the Missing Link is designed safely and in a way that works for everyone, the project team is considering all voices and perspectives.

The Missing Link Project went through extensive environmental review that provided community members with many opportunities to learn more about potential route options and submit comments. In addition to outreach to key stakeholders and community groups throughout the environmental phase, public open houses were held in 2013, 2015, and 2016 to solicit input from the broader community on the Missing Link Project.

The Project History documents much of this public involvement, including past reports and designs.

SDOT has convened a Design Advisory Committee (DAC) to bring additional stakeholder perspectives to the design of the Missing Link. The DAC was convened following the completion of the project's environmental review and the City's selection of a preferred route. DAC members will meet throughout the project's design phase and provide feedback on SDOT's preferred alignment to improve trail design and balance the safety and needs of all users.  For more information, see the DAC work plan.

Property and Business Owner Workshops

In late June and early July 2017, the SDOT design team hosted workshops for business and property owners adjacent to the trail. SDOT held a follow-up workshop in late September 2017 to review the input received at previous workshops and to highlight changes implemented based on property and business owners feedback.

Project Timeline

An illustrated graphic showing the Burke Gilman Trail Missing Link’s project design and construction timeline. The design phase began in May 2017 and extends through January 2018. The tentative construction phase will begin in January 2018 and ends in January 2019.
Click to expand for timeline of outreach milestones and upcoming public events.

Project Cost

The Burke-Gilman Trail Missing Link is anticipated to cost approximately $15 million. Approximately $2.5 million of this was spent to conduct the environmental review and draft the final Environmental Impact Statement. Design and construction of the trail itself is anticipated to cost approximately $12.5 million. View a visual budget of BGT extension projects.

Environmental Review

The Final Environmental Impact Statement was published on May 25, 2017.

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.

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@seattle.gov.

See Project history for more background on the environmental review process.

Materials

Design Advisory Committee (DAC)

Property Owner, Business Owner, and Public Events

A graphic illustration of outreach conducted to date, including public events, briefings, workshops, walking tours, email notifications, social media posts, mailers, and online open houses.

Outreach completed to date

Conceptual Design Segment Workshop series for adjacent property and business owners

Conceptual Design Public Event (July 13, 2017)

Conceptual Design Outreach Overview

Schematic Design Public Event (October 12, 2017)

Below is a basic timeline of the project. 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.
June 18 Boards
June 18 Fact Sheet
June 18, 2015 Open House Summary

2016

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

Draft EIS 

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.

2017

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

The Final EIS

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

July 10-12, 2017 - Online open house is held, with over 500 unique users

July 13, 2017 - Open house is held, with over 70 people attending

October 12, 2017 - open house is held, with over 90 people attending

October 14, 2017 - Self-guided walking tour is held, with over 200 people attending

October 9-23 - Online open house is held, with over 200 unique users