Burke-Gilman Trail to be rebuilt through UW campus — detour begins Monday, Oct. 12


One of the highlights of summer was the reopening of the Burke-Gilman Trail, after more than 18 months of on-again, off-again detours. We were all elated to pedal freely along the flat path once again. 

But, that feeling is fleeting. 

Starting Monday, the Burke-Gilman Trail will undergo a major facelift through University of Washington campus as crews rebuild the trail to double its width and add new lighting, along with other features. 

The work is scheduled take place through summer 2016. Luckily, we are all fairly familiar with the detour route. Additions to the closures include the Hitchcock Bridge across NE Pacific Street and one bus stop will be relocated (see detour map below for details). 

The timing is unfortunate, but the rewards should be worth it. 

The original intent was to link up the several construction projects to limit the closures as much as possible, said UW Transporation Services Program Operations Analyst David Amiton. This original construction project came back from bid over budget and so needed to be scaled back slightly. Amiton said UW is hopeful the construction will be complete in time for the opening of UW Link station next year.
From UW Transportation Services: 

Burke-Gilman Trail Detours Trail construction detour: October 2015 through Summer 2016

This fall, the University of Washington will begin a project that will completely remake a portion of the Burke-Gilman Trail through the campus, providing significant safety and capacity improvements to the region’s premier bicycle and pedestrian corridor.

Beginning Monday, Oct. 12, this construction will require a significant detour for people using the trail through the campus. The detour will follow a similar path to the detour that was in place last year and earlier this year, but with some changes. The closure is expected to last about nine months, ending in summer 2016. For much of this project, the trail will be closed between 15th Avenue NE and Rainer Vista.

The detour for through traffic will run from 7th Avenue NE to just east of Rainier Vista. Local traffic will be able to use the trail between 7th and 15th avenues, as well as through the Rainier Vista area from the east, allowing for access to UW Medical Center and the Magnuson Health Sciences Center.


The trail detour and other changes may pose a temporary inconvenience, but significant reward will come at the end of the project: a brand-new section of the Burke-Gilman Trail, enlarged to double its previous width and including separate pathways for pedestrian and bicycle traffic. It will also feature new lights, more blue emergency phones, clarified intersections and improved sightlines. While these improvements will make for a better trail experience overall, they are especially necessary with the opening of the nearby UW light rail station coming next year. The project also includes the construction of a new secure bike parking facility near the T-wing overpass, with space for more than 100 bicycles.


Updates about the effects of this project, including the Hitchcock bridge closure, will be posted on this page. If you haven’t already, you can sign up for email updates about this project and other news affecting transportation at the UW.

Thank you for your patience and support while we undergo this project to provide a better Burke-Gilman Trail for the University and for Seattle.

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