It’s been a long time coming, but we are delighted to announce that the Burke-Gilman Trail through Lake Forest Park has been upgraded to modern standards and will reopen on Friday at noon!
What a ride it has been. Lest it be forgotten, Cascade, along with our members, supporters and volunteers, went to bat for this section of trail. We turned out at hearings, gave testimony at meetings, conducted rides and and held press conferences in Lake Forest Park to demonstrate the case for trail improvement — and our commitment to seeing it happen. Ultimately, though, it took joining King County Parks in a legal challenge to compel a trail upgrade.
Our final petition before the Central Puget Sound Growth Management Hearings Board in 2007 cleared the way for King County Parks to complete a trail upgrade.
And yes, we wrangled over the detour, which was less than satisfactory, leaving many riders without a safe option. Happily, that’s all now behind us. We’ll have the trail back and better than ever.
Starting on Friday afternoon, you’ll be treated to a new trail with wide fresh pavement, soft-surface shoulders, enhanced traffic controls and improved sight distances. Other improvements include a new stormwater system, retaining walls, slope stabilization, replacement of the Lyon Creek bridge and removal of invasive vegetation and replacement with native trees and plants. Contractor crews worked extended hours since September in order to complete construction as quickly as possible to overcome several challenges during construction, including the recent winter storm, utility conflicts and unstable soil conditions.
Please remember to obey traffic laws and ride carefully around pedestrians on the trail. We hear that “to ensure safety of trail users and adjacent homeowners, King County Sheriff’s deputies will be present intermittently during the week of Feb. 13.”
Thank you to everyone who joined us in seeing this project through. We know it’s been a difficult eight months as we all waited out the detour. Let us know what you think of the new trail.
And here’s hoping for good news on the other end of the Burke-Gilman – the Missing Link in Ballard. We’re expecting news from Judge Rogers next Thursday. Stay tuned, and thank you for being with us as we work together toward our mission of creating a better community through bicycling.