In yet another twist in the Missing Link saga, a King County Court Judge has ruled that work must halt on the Ballard Multimodal Corridor project.
The recent ruling came from King County Judge Roger Rogoff on July 2nd, which once again determined that the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) is incomplete.
Judge Rogoff cited Judge Samuel Chung’s December 2018 ruling that initially found the FEIS inadequate, based on potential economic impact to businesses along the Shilshole corridor.
SDOT recently told My Ballard that they were given the go-ahead to develop the Shilshole section. And, the department has been busy at work on the Market Street corridor of the project for several weeks now, which may be allowed to continue if they can show it has “independent utility” from the greater Missing Link project.
The Market Street project goes beyond just trail work — SDOT is also repaving, improving transit, and upgrading street safety — so it may be considered independent and therefore allowed to be completed. One can only hope that’s the case, considering the current demolished state of Market Street west of 24th Ave.
The Ballard Coalition, a group of trail opponents, is hopeful that the Missing Link will be built on Leary Ave, rather than Shilshole.
“Shilshole is one of just two industrial zones remaining in Seattle, and the only location with sufficient water access for maritime industries and the businesses that support them,” the Coalition writes in a press release about Judge Rogoff’s ruling. “The bike trail would put these companies – and the family-wage jobs they provide – out of business.”
“The Court’s ruling once again vindicates the Coalition’s efforts to ensure the City properly discloses the significant adverse impacts from the Missing Link, which can easily be avoided by moving the middle section just two blocks onto Leary Avenue,” Ballard Coalition attorney Joshua Brower says.
Now, it’s up to SDOT to determine what happens next.
“We’re basically figuring out what this means for us,” SDOT spokesperson Ethan Bergerson tells My Ballard.
He explained that SDOT is working with the Seattle City Attorney’s office to decide their next step — we’ll update as soon as we learn more.