Bikers Beware: Two miles of the Burke-Gilman Trail that run through Lake Forest Park and Kenmore will be closed for improvements beginning in late spring and lasting into mid-autumn.
The entire section of trail between Northeast 145th Street and Log Boom Park in Kenmore will be closed during construction, meaning cyclists will have to use alternate routes.
The project, which is slated to begin in mid-May, according to King County Capital Planning Manager Monica Clarke.
Despite the more than 2,200 reported trips on that section of trail during sunny weeks, Clarke said closing the trail for the summer and getting started as soon as possible is in the best interest of bicyclists and pedestrians due to safety issues surrounding the aging stretch of trail.
“There is really no good time to close the trail,” Clarke said. “We realize it’s a major inconvenience. But this is the oldest section of the Burke-Gilman trail, and it’s long overdue for major redevelopment for safety reasons and to bring it up to current regional trail standards.”
Additionally, parts of the project will require crews to work in Lake Washington, and state law requires that any in-water work must be done during the mid-summer months when the impact on local fish populations is minimal.
Currently that section of the trail is 10 feet wide. Once redeveloped, it will expand to 12 feet, with gentler turns to aid in visibility for cyclists and pedestrians, Clarke said.
The county worked with local and state park and transportation departments, the cities of Seattle, Lake Forest Park and Shoreline, and the Cascade Bicycle Club to come up with a plan for the redevelopment and detours during the closure.
The most likely detour option will be to take the section of Beach Drive Northeast that runs parallel to the Burke-Gilman Trail; however, the county has not received the required permits from all three cities, Clarke said.
Clarke said the county encourages commuters to use Sound Transit and King County Metro buses equipped with bike racks while the trail is closed.
The project is expected to cost an estimated $5.2 million, funded in part by the Parks Expansion Levy, which was passed by voters, and the Real Estate Excise Tax.
The city of Seattle manages the portions of the trail that fall within its city limits, and King County manages the rest. The trail begins in Shilshole Bay in Ballard and extends around the northern perimeter of Lake Union and the northwestern perimeter of Lake Washington, eventually meeting up with the Sammamish River Trail in Woodinville.
Clarke said the county will send notices to residents of the surrounding properties when the contract is finalized.