Larger detours on the Burke-Gilman Trail will begin tomorrow, May 14.
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Dear Tom,

As you may know, work has already begun on construction projects to improve the Burke-Gilman Trail and the surrounding areas. This includes the Montlake Triangle and Rainier Vista, Maple and Terry Hall, the new Sound Transit Link light rail stations, and utility upgrades in the Burke-Gilman corridor. While some of these improvement projects require temporary trail detours in the short term, they will ultimately contribute to significant improvements to Burke-Gilman Trail safety, capacity, connections and usability. Trail users of all types will reap the benefits of this first-class multimodal transportation corridor.

Beginning Wednesday, May 14 the University of Washington will change the detour already in place for the Montlake Triangle project to accommodate construction projects in the area. One project by Seattle City Light will result in better connections between the university and the city's power grid. Another project by the University of Washington will improve connections at the Rainier Vista and Montlake Triangle

This detour will close portions of the Burke-Gilman Trail at the Rainier Vista, and from 15th Avenue Northeast to Brooklyn Avenue Northeast. A stretch in-between these two projects will have local access only until construction begins there in mid-summer, when the university closes this longer stretch in order to make significant improvements to the trail. We anticipate that this detour will remain in place through the fall and likely into the winter months. As construction moves forward, we’ll keep you updated on project progress and timeline.

We had previously sent you information that this larger detour would begin back on April 23. There have been delays in construction work on the west end, leading to the detour that is currently in place. The larger detour will be in place on Wednesday, May 14. The trail will be open between 15th Avenue Northeast and the Rainier Vista, but will dead end at both ends. This segment will close for construction in mid-summer.

We want to help you get around safely and quickly during this detour. 

Please keep in mind that these are detours! These routes will not be as quick as your regular route. They are a temporary inconvenience. The reward will be a trail double-its-size in width with a separate sidewalk for pedestrians and cycletrack for bicyclists, dozens of new lights, more blue emergency phones, better trail intersections and improved sightlines. We appreciate your understanding and patience while this work is underway.

Click here to view a zoomable map in Google Maps

There will be signs on the ground similar to the signs already in place at the Rainier Vista detour area. Along with these signs, the university has made a number of improvements to campus roadways to prepare for this detour. These include adding stop signs at intersections with Stevens Way, repainting sharrows along the detour route, reorganizing parking lots where the detour travels. We also worked with SDOT to add a separated bike lane along Northeast 40th Street and introduced an "all-way walk/bike" period at the intersection of Northeast 40th Street and 15th Avenue Northeast - which means no motor vehicles will move while you're trying to cross!

We anticipate that this detour will change as construction projects evolve — particularly as Seattle City Light’s work on the trail from 15th Avenue Northeast headed west to the I-5 bridge is completed in phases. Signs will be in place to indicate detour changes, and we'll do our best to update information online at and send you a message letting you know of the change. 

If you're interested in finding more information about your travel route, including specifics about heading westbound, eastbound or connecting to the University of Washington Medical Center, we encourage you to visit our website for our recommended detour routes.

Thank you for your patience as the University of Washington accommodates these projects and works to improve this area of campus.

Brian Ho
Construction Coordination Manager
Transportation Services
University of Washington 



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