Well, it’s not exactly half off. It’s half of.
Not only have we been tracking this since the spring, but if you’re a user of this trail section, you’ve been riding the bus or taking a very inconvenient bike detour much of this time. We are all ready for a safer, wider and better trail.
It looks like they’ll have the northern section from Ballinger Way NE to Logboom Park open about on time—by Dec. 31. I’ve been up to look at elegantly smooth pavement and can’t wait to ride it. Unfortunately, they expect the southern section (from NE 145th Street to Ballinger Way NE) to reopen in late January.
Significant unanticipated issues like poor soils and drainage and a number of utility crossings took King County Parks and their contractors back to the drawing board for redesign, which kept pushing back the deadline. And no excellent news on the detour front—the route will remain from Ballinger to 94th street until the project is complete.
In talking with Parks staff over the last several months, I’m sure it’s not out of line to say that they’re doing everything they can to get this project finished—and for them, the contractors and the trail users, it couldn’t come fast enough. We’d just as well get over the past—like permitting issues with local jurisdictions, detour problems with a few vocal property owners, WSDOT’s reluctance to offer cyclists a safe route along SR 522—and just start riding this great stretch of trail again.
We certainly appreciate your patience. While I’m not holding my breath, perhaps we can shoot for a complete trail opening by Groundhog Day just in time to declare the end of winter—and the start of a great riding season on our beloved trail.
For more details, see the King County Parks project site.