Ballard Multimodal Corridor

Updated: April 1, 2021

What’s happening now?

On March 29, 2021, the Washington State Division 1 Court of Appeals issued a decision on the Burke-Gilman Trail Missing Link Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS). The decision was solely concerned with the procedures followed by the Hearing Examiner, which were outside of the Seattle Department of Transportation's (SDOT's) control or knowledge. The decision did not include any negative findings about SDOT's plans or Final Environmental Impact Statement. Nonetheless, this means that SDOT cannot proceed with construction of the Burke-Gilman Missing Link Trail until additional procedural steps are taken. 

We are disappointed with the recent ruling, but we remain committed to completing this critical safety improvement project along our selected route. We are looking at all options available to move forward expediently to protect our most vulnerable street users. 

Project update

In spring 2019, crews began roadway surface, sidewalk, signal and transit improvements as part of the Market Phase of the Ballard Multimodal Corridor project. Crews completed these non-trail related improvements along NW Market St between 24th Ave NW and the Ballard Locks in fall 2020. More information on the project timeline is below. We appreciate the patience and flexibility of the Ballard community as we worked to complete elements of this phase of the project . 

NW Market St

NW Market St in October 2020

For the latest project construction updates, see our construction email update archive.


The Ballard Multimodal corridor will proceed in 3 phases (the Market Phase, the Shilshole Phase, and the 45th Phase). The work includes several transportation projects along NW Market St and Shilshole Ave NW, including:

  • Roadway paving
  • Signal improvements
  • New transit poles
  • New sidewalks
  • Storm drainage
  • The Burke-Gilman Trail Missing Link

The Map below shows the three phases of the Ballard Multimodal corridor. 

Construction Phasing Map

Construction on the Market phase of the corridor (between the Ballard Locks and 24th Ave NW) has begun and will continue through the year. If you’d like to learn more about the design process, visit our project library below to review 95% design documents, event summaries, and the full Design Phase Outreach Summary.

Transportation investments included in the Ballard Multimodal Corridor Project were developed in consultation with the community and evolved from initial conversations about the Burke-Gilman Trail Missing Link Project. Improvements identified by trail users, truck drivers, the industrial community, and nearby neighbors identified opportunities to design a complete, multimodal corridor along the Ship Canal between the Ballard Locks and 11th Ave NW.

These improvements include new pavement on some roadways, driveway enhancements, new signals, new utility and drainage infrastructure, and enhanced pedestrian infrastructure. Design of the Ballard Multimodal Corridor improvements recognize the importance of Ballard’s manufacturing and industrial community and will maintain truck and freight access to the industrial and water-dependent businesses adjacent to the corridor.

Taking a big-picture look at the full extent of the corridor during the design phase for the Missing Link also helped identify opportunities to partner with other projects and agencies to be more efficient with public funding. Packaging projects in the same area together can help us get them done more quickly and reduce construction impacts on travelers and nearby properties.

History of the Burke-Gilman Trail Project

The Burke-Gilman Trail is a regional, mixed-use facility that runs east from Golden Gardens Park in Seattle to the Sammamish River Trail in Bothell. The 20-mile trail serves as a major transportation corridor for commuters and recreational users. The trail is complete except for a 1.4-mile segment through the Ballard neighborhood, known as the "Missing Link." The Missing Link has been included in the City's comprehensive plan since the early 1990s and is identified as one of the City of Seattle's top-rated trail priorities in the 2014 Bicycle Master Plan. The City is devoted to completing the Missing Link fulfill its commitment to the community and to be most efficient with taxpayer dollars. 

Throughout the environmental review process, SDOT sought input from the community on potential routes and impacts through events and formal comment periods. Commenters on the Missing Link Project's Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) expressed a strong preference for placing the route along Shilshole Ave NW. Of the over 4,400 comments received on the Draft EIS, 77% noted preference for the Shilshole South Alternative. However, a number of comments expressed concerns over placing the trail in front of the industrial and water-dependent businesses along the Shilshole corridor. 

To inform SDOT's selection of a preferred corridor, SDOT further consulted with the local maritime, industrial, freight, bicycle, and pedestrian communities to select the Preferred Alternative, a combination of the Shilshole South and Shilshole North Alternatives. To learn more, read the project's frequently asked questions and answers.

An illustrated map depicts the Burke-Gilman Trail and its one point four-mile missing segment in Ballard.

Completing the Burke-Gilman Trail will create a complete and predictable corridor that enhances safety for pedestrians, trucks, bicycles, and cars.

Conversations with stakeholders, property owners, and business owners during design of the Missing Link highlighted many opportunities to partner with other agencies and enhance streets adjacent to the trail.

Public Involvement

To ensure the Ballard Multimodal Corridor was designed safely and in a way that worked for all users, the project team worked with many stakeholders, including local workers and freight drivers, property and business owners, trail users, and members of the industrial and maritime communities.

The Burke-Gilman Trail Missing Link and other multimodal improvements went through extensive environmental review that provided the community with many opportunities to learn more about potential route options and submit comments. In addition to outreach to key stakeholders and community groups throughout the environmental phase, public open houses were held in 2013, 2015, and 2016 to solicit input from the broader community on the Missing Link Project.

Design Advisory Committee

Throughout the design of the Ballard Multimodal and Missing Link Corridor, SDOT convened a Design Advisory Committee (DAC) to bring additional stakeholder perspectives. The DAC was convened following the completion of the final environmental review and the City's selection of a preferred route. DAC members met between May 2017 - September 2018 to provide feedback on SDOT's preferred alignment to improve trail design and balance the safety and needs of all users. 

For more information, see the DAC work plan and Business Owner Workshops.

Property and Business Owner Workshops 

In late June and early July 2017, the SDOT design team hosted workshops for business and property owners adjacent to the trail. SDOT held a follow-up workshop in late September 2017 to review the input received at previous workshops and to highlight changes implemented based on property and business owners' feedback.

The Project History documents much of the public involvement associated with the Missing Link, including past reports and designs.

Anticipated Construction Timeline

Construction Phasing Map

Construction Schedule

2019 - 2022

Construction of the Ballard Multimodal Corridor improvements will be completed in three phases. In 2019 and 2020, construction on non-trail improvements for the Market Phase on NW Market St between the Ballard Locks and 24th Ave NW was completed. Construction for the Shilshole and NW 45th phases and elements of the NW Market Phase are anticipated to begin no earlier than 2022.

Market Phase: NW 54th St and NW Market St
Q1 2019 Pre-construction (Completed)
Q2 2019 - Q3 2020 Construction
Q1 2022 Trail Construction
Shilshole Phase: Shilshole Ave NW
Q1 2019 – Q2 2019 Design (Completed)
Q1 - Q2 2022 Pre-construction
Q3 2022 – Q4 2022 Construction
45th Phase: Parts of Shilshole Ave NW and NW 45th St
Q1 2019 – Q2 2019 Design (Completed)
Q1 -Q2 2022 Pre-construction
Q3 2022 – Q4 2022 Construction

Project Cost

As we heard more from the community during the design of the Missing Link, the project evolved into a full multimodal corridor that improves access and predictability for many different corridor users. This provided the opportunity to partner with other projects and be as efficient as possible with taxpayer dollars. 

The Missing Link and other Ballard Multimodal Corridor improvements are anticipated to cost approximately $26.4 million. Of the $26.4 million, approximately $7.2 million is dedicated to constructing the trail extension. The remainder of the expected costs will cover other corridor improvements including expedited street paving along Market St (originally pat of the Market St RapidRide project), new traffic signals on Shilshole, updated Metro trolley infrastructure, improved pedestrian crosswalks and sidewalks, a new access road, utility and railroad improvements, and new stormwater infrastructure. Funding for the additional scope elements come from a variety of partnerships and programs. A summary of the budget and funding sources can be found here. In addition to these costs, approximately $2.75 million was spent to conduct the environmental review and prepare the Environmental Impact Statement.

Funding sources
SDOT sources $22,627,765
Burke-Gilman Trail $16,227,765
Asphalt and Concrete (roadway paving)  $5,000,000
New Sidewalks $1,000,000
Vision Zero $200,000
Bicycle Master Plan $200,000
External sources $3,772,322
King County Metro $2,380,675
Seattle City Light $1,082,927
Other $233,720
Seattle Public Utilities $75,000
Total Funding $26,400,087

Environmental Review

The Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) was published on May 25, 2017.

Upon further evaluation of the merits of each alternative, and in consideration of the public comments received and additional studies conducted after publishing the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Draft EIS), SDOT developed a Preferred Alternative. From the Ballard Locks, the Preferred Alternative route travels:

  • Along the south side of NW 54th St and NW Market St to 24th Ave NW, where it turns onto Shilshole Ave NW
  • Along the south side of Shilshole Ave NW to NW 45th St
  • Along the south side of NW 45th St to 11th Ave NW

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) completed a Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) in May 2017 to discuss the potential significant environmental impacts of the Missing Link Project, which was appealed by a coalition of Ballard businesses, labor, and industry groups. On January 31, 2018, the Seattle Hearing Examiner held that the Missing Link FEIS was adequate. The coalition challenged the Hearing Examiner's decision in King County Superior Court. On December 21, 2018, that Court issued an order holding that although the FEIS was adequate in nearly all respects, it failed to "adequately disclose adverse economic impacts associated with the potential risks from vehicle to bicycle/pedestrian traffic conflicts." The Court held that the FEIS did adequately disclose some economic impacts, including those related to property values and impacts to businesses from potential delays in delivery of products. 

To address the issues identified by the King County Superior Court, SDOT completed additional environmental review of the possible economic impacts associated with the potential risks from vehicle to bicycle/pedestrian traffic conflicts related to the Missing Link Project. This analysis is an addendum to the FEIS for the Missing Link Project, including Technical Appendix E: Economic Considerations Report, published on May 25, 2017. This SEPA Addendum and information referenced therein add analysis or information to the FEIS but do not substantially change the analysis of the potential significant impacts and alternatives or identify any new potential significant impacts from those previously considered. 

Review the Final EIS.

Review the Final EIS Addendum.

Printed copies of the Final EIS Executive Summary are available to the public at no charge. Printed copies of the Final EIS, comment responses, and technical appendices are available for purchase by calling (206) 684-5000 or emailing

See Project History for more background on the environmental review process.


Ballard Multimodal Corridor Construction Updates

Public Drop-in Session (May 7,2019)

Ballard Multimodal Corridor Design Phase Documents

Burke-Gilman Trail Missing Link Design Advisory Committee (DAC)

Design Phase Property Owner, Business Owner, and Public Events

37 briefings and meetings, 6 in-person public events, 1 self guided walking tour with over 530 attendees, 7 notification emails to over 240 recipients, 3 local fairs and festivals with over 370 attendees, over 300 flyers distributed, 31,300 mailers sent, 12 social media posts to over 260,000 followers, two 14-day, 24/7 online open house with over 800 visitors, and design materials provided at 8 local gathering places.

Design phase outreach

Conceptual Design Segment Workshop series for adjacent property and business owners

Conceptual Design Outreach (July 2017)

Schematic Design Outreach (October 2017)

Below is a basic timeline of the project. For a history of the whole Burke-Gilman Trail, visit its history page.


Ballard Terminal Railroad signs 30-year lease with City of Seattle for use of tracks

Seattle City Council Ordinance 118734

Operating Agreement


Council directs SDOT to evaluate up to three alternative routes for completing the missing link in the BGT, engage with residential, business and bike/trail advocacy groups, and develop a project work plan. This became the Ballard Corridor Design Study.

Seattle City Council Resolution 30408


Ballard Corridor Design Study public involvement

A Project Advisory Committee is established to provide guidance and input throughout the study. The SDOT team also meets with 11 community groups in early 2002, and holds a public open house on November 19, attended by approximately 500 people.


SDOT completes the Ballard Corridor Design Study
Executive Summary
Design Study
Appendix A: Conceptual Design Plans (Recommendation)
Appendix B1, B2, and B3: Cost Estimates (All Options)
Appendix B4 and B5: Cost Estimates (Recommendation)
Appendix C: Conceptual Design Plans (Open House)
Appendix D: Missing Link History
Appendix E: Cross Section Guide
Appendix F: Parking Data
Appendix G1: Green Route Photos
Appendix G2: Red Route Photos
Appendix G3: Blue Route Photos
Comments from 2002 Open House

As the culmination of the Ballard Corridor Design Study and public process, the City Council adopts Resolution 30583, which identifies the route along which SDOT shall develop the trail.

Seattle City Council Resolution 30583


City of Seattle adopts the 2007 Bicycle Master Plan, which recommends completing the Burke-Gilman Trail through Ballard.

2007 Bicycle Master Plan


November 15 First Design Proposal Open House (~70 attendees)
Board 1 Board 2 Board 3 Board 4
Full list of public comments received at Open House


October 15 Second Design Proposal Open House (~40 attendees)
Full list of public comments received at Open House


SDOT conducts environmental review of the chosen alignment and issues a Determination of Non-Significance.

SEPA Checklist
Geotech Report
Traffic Report
Cultural Resources Report
HazMat report
Parking Report
No Effect Letter


Pursuant to an order from the King County Superior Court, SDOT completes additional environmental review and issues a Revised Determination of Non-Significance

Revised SEPA checklist
Shilshole Cultural Resources
Shilshole Geotech
Shilshole Hazmat
Shilshole No Effect Letter
Shilshole Parking
Shilshole Traffic
Revised DNS


Pursuant to an order from the King County Superior Court, SDOT further develops the trail design and reissues the Revised Determination of Non-Significance
Reissued Revised DNS
Shilshole Design Information
Memorandum from City Traffic Engineer


City of Seattle Hearing Examiner determines that an environmental impact statement (EIS) should be prepared to address traffic hazard impacts along the Shilshole Segment of the trail. SDOT decides to conduct a full EIS for the project, including the evaluation of different alternatives.


SDOT issues a Scoping Notice for the EIS and hosts a meeting on August 8 to solicit public comment on the scope and alternatives to be considered in the proposed Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) (~90 attendees)
Scoping Notice


The City's Bicycle Master Plan is updated, which identifies the BGT Missing Link as one of Seattle's top trail priorities
2014 Bicycle Master Plan


SDOT hires Environmental Services Associates to prepare the EIS


May - Environmental Services Associates completes their summary of comments received from the public during the EIS scoping process.

June 18 – An open house was held at the Ballard High School Cafeteria, 1418 NW 65th Street between 6 and 8 PM to share the three alternative routes to be studied during the EIS, as well as the elements to be considered.
June 18 Boards
June 18 Fact Sheet
June 18, 2015 Open House Summary


June 16 – The Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) was published.

Draft EIS 

Complete Document
Cover Letter
Fact Sheet
EIS Executive Summary
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Project History and Alternatives
Chapter 2 Geology, Soils and Hazardous Materials
Chapter 3 Fish, Wildlife, and Vegetation
Chapter 4 Land Use
Chapter 5 Recreation
Chapter 6 Utilities
Chapter 7 Transportation
Chapter 8 Parking
Chapter 9 Air Quality and Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Chapter 10 Cultural Resources
Chapter 11 Cumulative Impacts
Chapter 12 References
Chapter 13 List of Preparers
Chapter 14 Distribution List
Appendix A Hazardous Materials Databases Reviewed
Appendix B Emission Estimates Tabulations
Technical Appendix A Land Use Discipline Report
Technical Appendix B Transportation Discipline Report
Technical Appendix C Parking Discipline Report
Technical Appendix D Cultural Resources Discipline Report
Technical Appendix E Economic Considerations Report

July 14 & 16 – Open houses are held, with over 270 people attending.

August 1 – The comment period on the DEIS ends. SDOT receives over 4,000 comments in letters, cards, emails and other submissions.


February 15 - SDOT announces that the Ballard and Leary alternatives have been dropped from further consideration in the Final EIS in testimony before the Sustainability & Transportation Committee.


May 25 – The Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is published.

The Final EIS

Complete Document
Cover Letter
Fact Sheet
Final EIS Executive Summary
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Project History and Alternatives
Chapter 2: Geology, Soils, and Hazardous Materials
Chapter 3: Fish, Wildlife, and Vegetation
Chapter 4: Land Use
Chapter 5: Recreation
Chapter 6: Utilities
Chapter 7: Transportation
Chapter 8: Parking
Chapter 9: Air Quality and Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Chapter 10: Cultural Resources
Chapter 11: Cumulative Impacts
Chapter 12: References
Chapter 13: List of Preparers
Chapter 14: Distribution List
Appendix A – AutoTURN Analysis
Appendix B – Hazardous Materials Databases Reviewed
Appendix C – Emissions Estimates Tabulations
Draft EIS Comments and Responses – Part 1
Draft EIS Comments and Responses – Part 2
Draft EIS Comments and Responses – Part 3
Technical Appendix A – Updates and Errata to the Land Use Discipline Report
Technical Appendix B – Transportation Discipline Report
Technical Appendix C – Parking Discipline Report

July 10-12, 2017 - Online open house is held, with over 500 unique users

July 13, 2017 - Open house is held, with over 70 people attending

October 12, 2017 - open house is held, with over 90 people attending

October 14, 2017 - Self-guided walking tour is held, with over 200 people attending

October 9-23 - Online open house is held, with over 200 unique users


July 12 - Notice of Action is signed for the Burke-Gilman Trail Missing Link project 

September 13 - Project reaches 95% design

October 10 - Phase 1 of construction goes to bid