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Burke-Gilman trail's 'missing link' in Ballard could soon be fixed

Supporters of completing the missing link rally in support of the project in 2009.

The so-called "missing link" in the Burke-Gilman trail is a step closer to being finished. Seattle officials say they've reached a new agreement with businesses in Ballard that have long opposed the project, in a dispute that has spanned more than two decades.

Scott Kubly, the director of the city's transportation department, says both sides agree the future trail should run along the south side of Shilshole Avenue (that's the side closest to the water). And in return, affected businesses might get some help from the city.

"We're going to look at different improvements that we can make along the corridor that are going to be improvements for freight users as well," he said. "Are there signals that we can install? Are there treatments that we can put in along the route that will improve things for the freight community as well.” 

The planalso calls for the new trail segment to run along Market Street, between Shilshole Avenue and the Ballard Locks. That's one change that helped sway some Ballard businesses that have been critical of the plan. The proposal calls for turning the four lane street into a three lane street and widening the sidewalk on the south side to fit part of the new trail.

Officials say they hope to start construction by early next year. The city is budgeting about $13 million dollars for the project. Design work starts this week.

Year started with KUOW: 1998.