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West Thomas Street Pedestrian & Bicycle Overpass to Open in July

The weather outside may get sunny again Saturday leaving many during National Bike Month to pine away for new adventures.  One such adventure, high above Elliott Avenue West and sailing over some Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) railroad tracks, might be travel along the West Thomas Street Pedestrian & Bicycle Overpass.  I mean, it’s going to open any day now right?  Well, no, and let me tell you why.

Aerial photo from the West, looking northeast – taken March 23, 2012

The fabulous new elevated bike/ped path may now look just about done, but in reality one could accidentally fall off onto Elliott or the tracks below since handrails are yet to be installed.  Why?  The huge sections of heavy railing have not yet been manufactured and delivered.  Why?  Well, turns out it’s a bit of a bear to make 20 to 40 feet long pieces of railing especially when the material needed for the fabrication is in high demand and hence delayed in its delivery.  So there you have it.  It’s not pretty, considering it’s bike month, but it certainly WILL be a pretty site to see once the overpass opens in July.

Construction, by the way, called for pouring concrete for the full length of nearly 1000 feet.  In the future the new structure will connect the Myrtle Edwards Park bicycle trail to the Lake to Bay Loop, a proposed bicycle route linking the Seattle waterfront with South Lake Union and Seattle Center.  Look for more on THAT effort in coming months.