Burke-Gilman Trail Phase 1


Trail construction update

In the coming weeks, the Burke-Gilman Trail construction project will expand a short distance to the east. Crews will begin improvements to the intersection on the east end of the project where the trail meets Rainier Vista. This will require crews to close the staircase at the east end of the project connecting the trail to NE Pacific Place. When this occurs, all walking and biking traffic moving between the Montlake Triangle and upper campus will need to detour across the Rainier Vista land bridge.

This work might occur over Spring Break (March 21 - 25), but it is more likely to take place closer to May. More details will come later.


  • Construction - Oct 2015
  • Completion - July 2016

Closure Update as of 03/01/16:

The Burke-Gilman Trail on the University of Washington campus remains closed between 15th Avenue NE and the west end of Rainier Vista, so plan to use the trail detour for your commute. Signs indicating the detour route are already in place. If you're approaching campus on the trail from the west, keep in mind that the detour begins at 7th Avenue NE. The trail closure will remain in effect until summer 2016.

See detour information below:

click on link below to direct to Tranportation Services

Burke-Gilman Detours

Phase 1 will provide improvements to the Burke Gilman Trail segment between 15th Avenue NE and Rainier Vista within the UW campus (Campus Reach) by widening the trail from the existing 12 – 16 feet to approximately 24 feet, including dedicated lanes for pedestrians and bicyclists. The project will also upgrade connections to NE Pacific St. at the Hitchcock Bridge.

Hitchcock Bridge

The Burke Gilman Trail  Phase 1 (15th Ave NE to NE Pacific Place) project will bring valuable improvements to the trail for bicyclists,  pedestrians, and joggers. Specifically, the mixing zone at the Hitchcock Bridge will be enhanced with improved site lines, lighting, tactile warnings for bicyclists, and improved signage. Work at the Hitchcock Bridge will require remodeling the north portion of the bridge and extensive work to the Lewis Lane Bridge, the old railroad bridge supporting the trail, directly east of the Hitchcock Bridge. The work requires a lot of heavy machinery and we are very concerned about maintaining a safe work site for the contractor and public.

As part of this work we will be closing the Hitchcock bridge starting Oct 26, 2015 until June 2016.  The impact of the Hitchcock Bridge closure to the University and its students is not something we take lightly. We make every effort to minimize the burden placed on students or faculty. We reviewed the full closure plan with both academic and University groups as well as studied options for avoiding the full closure and found them to be unworkable. Ultimately, we had to balance the impacts on safety, costs, research and teaching. This led us to the difficult decision to close the bridge for the duration of the project. Pedestrians may be able to access the south campus area by crossing at the T-Wing Bridge to the east or an at grade crossing at the intersection of 15th Ave NE and NE Pacific Street to the west. 

We may be able to open the bridge before June 2016, but we need to develop the plan to do so with the contractor. Our goal will be to open the bridge as soon as possible.

South Campus Detour as coordinated with ARCF construction:


Burke-Gilman Trail Design Concept Plan