The Missing Link is the last uncompleted mile of a regional pedestrian and bicycle trail that traverses over 20 miles from Golden Gardens Park in Seattle to Tracy Owen Station in Kenmore.
In the planning stages for over a decade, this controversial trail segment was appealed in 2012, prompting the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Completion of the Missing Link will provide safer pedestrian and bicycle travel between the two uncompleted ends of the current trail through a busy and industrial stretch of road in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood. Connecting Ballard, Fremont, and the University of Washington, the trail is a busy commuter route and recreational thoroughfare.
ESA prepared a State Environmental Policy Act EIS for the Seattle Department of Transportation’s proposed Burke-Gilman Trail “Missing Link” project through Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood. We led a team of six subconsultants in identifying feasible alternative routes through the roughly 1.2-mile project corridor and developed an objective, defensible EIS. Transportation impacts and their implications for adjacent industrial and maritime land uses were the primary concerns. The analysis also encompassed historic resources, contaminated soils, recreation, and greenhouse gas impacts. The ESA team also supported SDOT during its successful administrative appeal process. Construction of the trail is expected to begin in 2019.
The Burke-Gilman Trail (BGT) is one of the most heavily used pedestrian and bicycling paths in Seattle, serving as a major transportation corridor for commuter and recreational bicyclists. Noted as a top priority project in the City’s Bicycle Master Plan, the completion of the BGT network will improve Seattle’s health and quality of life by providing safe bicycle and pedestrian travel routes for residents of all ages.