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.

Why does this project matter?

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.

What is ESA doing to help?

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.

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