Ballinger Park waterfront in Mountlake Terrace to close for construction

Photo courtesy of Dean Wallace Photo, LLC

Construction of the Ballinger Park Waterfront Project begins on Thursday, July 1 and Friday, July 2, closing specific areas of the waterfront area so the City of Mountlake Terrace can begin work on major park improvements. The waterfront will temporarily reopen July 3-5, for the holiday weekend, with the closure resuming on July 6 and continuing into September, the city said.

The waterfront project will add a new fishing pier, boat dock, boat launch, and enhanced shoreline improvements. Project funding also covers the new restrooms at the boat launch as well as an accessible pathway from the Senior/Community Center to the boat launch area. Demolition of the existing fishing pier, boat ramp, and tire rip rap is another component of the work. The total project cost is nearly $1.5 million.

The boat launch, driveway, and parking lot area will be closed. Additionally, there will be no access to existing fishing pier or wading area during construction, the city said.

Why close the beach and fishing area during the summer? According to the city, the project is reliant upon federal permits that stipulate in-water work can only be done during the fish window period of July 1 through Aug. 31. The in-water construction work will occur in July and August, and upland work will conclude in the month of September.

The remainder of the 55-acre park will be open and available to the public. Alternate access for small hand-launch boats will be located only on the east side of the park and is marked on site. Parking will only be available at the north parking lot near the Mountlake Terrace Senior Center at 23000 Lakeview Dr.

“We understand it is disappointing that the beach will be closed for most of the summer,” said City Recreation and Parks Director Jeff Betz. “However, getting funding for these terrific amenities that were included in the 2015 Ballinger Park Master Plan is a huge win not only for Mountlake Terrace, but the region.”

To learn more about Ballinger Park projects, visit

  1. Sounds good. Is this lake safe to swim in? I thought I read something saying there was something that was not good. A mold or fungus…something fixable…anyone know?

    1. My understanding is that there are environmental regulations that restrict in-water construction work to times of year when migrating salmon are less likely to be around. So projects like these have to be scheduled during that time, which they call a “fish window.”

  2. This is great. Nice to see an upgrade, but it won’t get much use because there is not enough parking and bus service is infrequent.

    Are they going to add more parking? The park desperately needs more parking. It’s like trying to park at Woodstock, lol. People were ripping out parking bollards last week. They also need to enforce the boat trailer-only parking. You can’t even use the boat launch because there trailer spots are full of cars. There is a ton of open grassland, they should allow parking there in the summer.

    1. Definitely good point. Hopefully more parking is involved if they are increasing services, as you are correct that there is not enough parking as there is. I ride my bike part here all the time and stop every once in awhile, but it would be nice to have places to park when I wanted a longer visit

      Hard to see this closed during some of the best parts of summer, but it is nice to see the improvements.

      1. The plan is not showing more parking, and the trailer parking is not enforced. It is not possible to launch a boat in summer that is on a trailer, as there is no where to park. This should have been dealt with in the plan, if anyone involved used the park. Also, with the new restrooms be locked most of the winter as they have been for years? The park is used year round (launching ramp in fall/winter/spring as it is not possible to park in summer), and the last few years of having the restrooms locked from November (or earlier) to April is a major problem.

  3. When improvements are finished I would like to take my grandkids to play in the water. I was there a couple of years ago. The beach front was full of duck poop etc. The water was likewise contaminated. How can the beach and water
    be maintained/protected from the poop problem so we can all enjoy this beautiful area and make the investment worthwhile?? Can’t put up a sign to direct geese to their poop location ☹️

  4. The city of mountlake terrace must not have any fish biologist on staff, they should have contracted one for a few weeks. I used to be a permit specialist for a federal agency and the ” in water work window” applies to waters that have either migrating salmon, or bull trout and a decent biologist would have been able to get an alternate in water work window so that park could remain open during summer as neither of these fish exist in the lake or creeks exiting or entering the lake.

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