Despite TIGER grant letdown, Burke-Gilman Trail connector project continues with Hec-Ed Bridge improvements
The Burke-Gilman Trail Multi-Modal Connector (BGC) project received some disappointing news earlier month when it was not selected for USDOT funding through the TIGER V grant competition. But they're not giving up.
"We’re extraordinarily grateful to our many supporters, including the more than 50 elected officials, 20 civic organizations, 200 businesses and 6,100 private citizens just like you that endorsed the project...We will hold up our end of the bargain," UW Transportation Services announced in an email to the community. "We’ve secured 54 percent of the project funding to date and we will continue to identify and pursue additional opportunities to complete the project funding. In the meantime, design and testing work continues on an accelerated basis so that we will be able to act swiftly when funding is secured."
Additionally, UW Transportation Services have submitted an application to the Puget Sound Regional Council for a Transportation Alternatives Program grant to study and design a replacement for the Hec-Ed Bridge. The 2013 TAP grant funds would support the planning, schematic design and preliminary engineering for the replacement of the Hec Ed Bridge.
The project will focus on improving safety and operations with elements that include full vertical clearance for vehicular traffic on Montlake Boulevard Northeast (SR 513), improved pedestrian and bicycle accommodations, ADA compliance and aesthetic enhancements using innovative design.
The Hec Edmundson Bridge Pedestrian/Bicycle Bridge project is currently ranked third on the contingency list to receive funding, which means it will only receive funding if there is additional grant money available after all higher-ranked, eligible projects have been funded. PSRC’s review process includes a public comment period from October 10 to November 21.
They need your help!
Please visit the Puget Sound Regional Council page and tell the council how important this project is to you using their online comment form. "We believe that a new, innovative bridge will preserve critical connections for both pedestrian and bicycle travel to regional amenities north of the Montlake Triangle, while improving safety, accessibility, efficiency and capacity," states UW Transportation Service.
In other BGC news,
- In the coming months you’ll see additional work in the test area adjacent to Mercer Court Apartments. Workers will replace one set of approaches to the mixing zone to test improved construction techniques and reduce bumps. UW Transportation Services will also roll out tests of trail markings including fog lines to indicate hazards and directional separators for traffic entering and exiting the mixing zones.
- You’ll see construction starting soon on the Montlake Triangle Project, which will improve trail connections into the UW campus and provide grade separation between trail traffic and pedestrian traffic entering campus from the future light rail station at Husky Stadium