Missing Link gets the green light for Shilshole corridor, work to begin later this year

The Ballard Multimodal Corridor project to connect the missing section of the Burke-Gilman Trail has been given the go-ahead to align the trail along Shilshole Ave.

Construction has been in full-swing for quite some time on NW Market St near the Locks — much to the consternation of anyone who ventures near west Ballard — and the project coordinators are preparing for the next section of construction.

The major issue that’s thwarted development for almost two decades has always been the Shilshole section of the trail. Industry workers in the area argued that the hazards of developing a bike trail along a major truck route would be disastrous. And, back in December, that was the main issue that caused the King County Superior Court to find inadequacy in the Final Environmental Impact Statement.

The Court said the FEIS was adequate in all areas, “except for one portion of the analysis of economic factors, specifically the possible economic impacts associated with the potential risk of conflicts between people walking, biking, and driving,” Ethan Bergerson from SDOT tells My Ballard.

Bergerson said the City addressed the issue by completing an additional economic analysis in April, which “did not find any new significant adverse economic impacts associated with these risks.”

So, with the green light, SDOT has planned the Missing Link project into three phases: the Market Phase, Shilshole Phase, and 45th Phase. This is in order to allow for railroad relocation work, Bergerson said.

“We chose to consolidate the railroad work into one phase (the NW 45th St phase), so that we can complete work that does not involve the railroad relocation while we continue to coordinate with Ballard Terminal Railroad.”

With the Market Phase already underway, the Shilshole Phase is expected to begin later this year, with the 45th Phase coming in 2020.

In the immediate future, Market St will continue to be a mess until they’re able to pave the new sections of road. Parking will not be permitted on the north or south side of Market between 30th and Ballard Ave NW until this fall.

Paving on the north side of Market will begin on Tuesday, July 9th, starting at the intersection of NW 54th and NW Market St and will move east towards 24th Ave NW. Once the north curb is paved, crews will begin demolishing and repaving the center lane, which they say should be during the week of July 15. They’ll place gravel in driveways to maintain accessibility.

To read about the project in full, visit the Ballard Multimodal Corridor website.


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carsongbaker
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carsongbaker

Fantastic news!

Southeasterner
Member
Southeasterner

I’ll bet there are still another few rounds of legal challenges left.

To date $20 million dollars of lawsuits, legal fees, and studies to get us to exactly the same place on Shilshole with an even worse alignment on Market.

The Seattle Process at its best!

Truth
Member
Truth

A private company abusing environmental laws to delay a public trail on a public right-of-way for decades is not the “Seattle Process”, it’s corporate irresponsibility at its best.

VeganBiker
Member
VeganBiker

This is wonderful news! I am looking forward to riding from GG to all points east on a trail free from vehicles.
I know there will be a big celebration when the BGT is completed.

Silver
Member
Silver

Thrilled to hear this!!

matthuhiggins
Member
matthuhiggins
carsongbaker
Member
carsongbaker

While it looks attractive from a map view, 54th is a pretty gnarly back alley road. It wouldn’t be the most pleasant ride for bikers, but more importantly it would actually have a notable impact on all the Maritime businesses back there. Shilshole is a much wider street and those impacts have been mitigated fairly well, the same solutions wouldn’t work well on 54th.

While there are certainly mixed opinions on how companies like Ballard Oil have expressed their concerns, I do think the market Street route is the better one for all. Those businesses (and upcoming apartments – Ballard Yards by Via Architects) actually want the bike trail there. It isn’t too much of a detour for the bikers, and it is definitely safer for everyone.

While I don’t think it needed to take 20 years, glad that we are finally building it! I’m sure there are lingering pros and cons with any solution but I think there are more pros on this one, with the biggest one being there is a design, an approval, funding, and now a go ahead!

matthuhiggins
Member
matthuhiggins

Staying on the old train route is the superior option for bike efficiency . There is no hill. That’s exactly why the train tracks run this way. All of your points are correct, but my way is better for bike speed. Of course, my desires ignore all other inputs, such as what Via Architects wants.

Nonetheless, I’m happy they are finally building the trail.

Truth
Member
Truth

While it looks attractive from a map view, 54th is a pretty gnarly back alley road. It wouldn’t be the most pleasant ride for bikers…

You realize they are building a new trail and would not be forcing them onto a derelict street, right? How would that not be pleasant?

…but more importantly it would actually have a notable impact on all the Maritime businesses back there.

Please explain. That runs contradictory to every single industrial business on the Burke Gilman, who have existed for decades with zero impact.

If anything, they should build the trail on 54th AND build the cycle track on Market.

SurlyAF
Member
SurlyAF

Great news! Hopefully there wont be any more delays via lawsuits.

Andrew Daisuke
Member
Andrew Daisuke

This is amazing news, hopefully this gets done as soon as possible.

The Ballard Terminal Railroad is a scam devised to prolong this whole process, and does nothing that trucks can’t do cheaper and without the hassle of being bound to tracks.

Insanity
Member
Insanity

“The Ballard Terminal Railroad is a scam devised to prolong this whole process, and does nothing that trucks can’t do cheaper and without the hassle of being bound to tracks.”

Please site your facts for your above statement.

Andrew Daisuke
Member
Andrew Daisuke

What do they deliver? If they deliver something in the rail cars, how does whatever they deliver get delivered to them? If they do, it’s delivered by truck, since there is no other rail depot near them. Those rail cars just move from Shilshole in front of Pacific Studio to CliffV’s marine heating, back and forth they go. Empty, I bet.

If they’re delivering bulk material to SBSAG, why wouldn’t whatever they’re delivering get delivered by semi truck or barge? It would be far cheaper and easier. Those rail cars are just graffiti billboard material.

Rip up the tracks, expand the trail and parking, make Shilshole Ave safer and easier for businesses.

VeganBiker
Member
VeganBiker

Andrew – the completion of the BGT has NOTHING to do with the Ballard Terminal Railroad! The tracks have always been configured in all versions of this trail, they will stay. That was NEVER the problem.

Truth
Member
Truth

The 2017 appeal (“Ballard Coalition”) includes:

The Martin Luther King, Jr. County Labor Council of Washington
The Teamsters
Salmon Bay Sand & Gravel Co.
Ballard Interbay Northend Manufacturing & Industrial Center
North Seattle Industrial Association
Ballard Terminal Railroad, LLC
CSR Marine
Seattle Marine Business Coalition

Considering they are one of the Obstructionists against completing the BGT, I would say they have EVERYTHING to do with the completing BGT.

Andrew Daisuke
Member
Andrew Daisuke

ha! “they have nothing to do with it!!!!”

[they’re literally part of the group trying to stop it]

Moomancer
Member
Moomancer

This is great news. I bike commute up Shilshole a few times a week and having a more protected pathway there will be appreciated. I know the businesses along there have been arguing against this forever but it all feels a bit overblown to me. Industrial business and the Burke Gilman coexist just fine at other spots along the trail. In a couple years I gotta believe everyone will look back at this project and say ‘what was all the fuss about again’

Wolfgang
Member
Wolfgang

I can’t tell from the map. Is the new bike path running along the north side of the Nordic Museum? I’d hate to see all those plantings on the north side of the museum destroyed.

Joe_in_Ballard
Member
Joe_in_Ballard

Yay! Another victory for the 3%!

““did not find any new significant adverse economic impacts associated with these risks.” “? To who? This will clearly impact businesses along Shilshole Ave.

When is the City going to start enforcing bicycle/traffic laws?