There is a lot going on the last week of April, not the least of which is National Work Zone Safety Week. With so many new and continuing projects impacting traffic, it’s important to remember that we want those doing the work to go home unharmed. There are a number of street construction projects where drivers will encounter flaggers. Not all are the City of Bellingham’s, but still effect travel, such as construction along Samish Way. As always, please travel with care.
NEW: concrete repairs – streets and sidewalks
The City’s annual concrete repairs for streets and sidewalks throughout Bellingham gets underway beginning Monday, April 26. Concrete repair crews will be going all over town to address a list of needed repairs. For more information, contact Interim Street Division Supervisor Jess Herring, (360) 778-7700 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Padden Creek fish passage – I-5 and State Route 11
A pair of culverts under Interstate 5 and State Route 11 in south Bellingham have blocked salmon and other fish from traveling upstream for years. The State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) has begun work on a project to replace those culverts. That will result in lane closures and some detours. For more information, check out the WSDOT news release on the project.
State and Ellis – bridge replacement
The City’s contractor is beginning work on a project to replace an 80-year-old wood-supported bridge on one of the major traffic routes through Bellingham. The project, anticipated to take up to nine months, will result in a new single span concrete structure over Whatcom Creek. The wooden piles within Whatcom Creek will be removed and the in-stream habitat below the bridge restored. Businesses in the area will remain open, though drivers can expect some intermittent road and lane closures. The road is now closed to traffic, with a detour rerouting traffic to Ohio Street, Cornwall Avenue, and York Street. (View detour map here.) Northbound Forest Street and Ellis Street will experience some impacts through the end of April as utility crews work to relocate services. Once the City’s contractor begins work, there will be minimal impacts there. Utility crews work hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. For more information, please contact Aric Smathers, P.E. project engineer, at (360) 778-7942 or email@example.com or visit the State and Ellis bridge replacement project webpage.
Orchard Drive connector – I-5 underpass (pictured)
The Orchard Drive extension project will create an arterial connection between James Street at Orchard Drive under I-5 and will connect to the Birchwood Avenue / Squalicum Parkway intersection. Once the new street is in place, it will provide a direct connection from the King Mountain neighborhood to the hospital and alleviate congestion on Ellis Street as well as the Meridian and Sunset Drive I-5 crossings. The project will include bicycle lanes in both directions and lighted sidewalks on the north side of Orchard and will convert the James Street intersection to a stop light. Expect additional construction traffic in the area and occasional flaggers present. This project will also close a segment of the Squalicum Creek Trail where it passes under I-5 for the duration of the project. For more information, visit the Orchard Drive Extension webpage or contact the project engineer, Craig Mueller, P.E., at firstname.lastname@example.org or (360) 778-7922.
2020 TBD projects and 40th Street sidewalk
The 40th Street sidewalk and 2020 TBD (Transportation Benefit District) projects are largely complete with final fencing underway on-site and striping on 40th Street and Lincoln Street. Road users through the area should expect possible sidewalk and lane closures and associated delays. Flaggers will allow for local access. For more information, visit the 2020 TBD Projects and 40th Street Sidewalk website or contact Freeman (Fritz) Anthony, P.E., project engineer, at email@example.com or (360) 778-7924.
West Horton project
The West Horton Road project is wrapping up with landscaping and site clean-up activities underway. The project provides access for all users through the corridor and to parking for Julianna Park. For more information, visit the West Horton Road phase 1 website or contact Freeman (Fritz) Anthony, P.E., project engineer, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (360) 778-7924.
2020-2021 downtown Public Library renovations
Bellingham Public Library has received a “certificate of substantial completion” for the construction phase of the Central Library remodel project. The elevator portion of the work will be completed April 30. Effective Saturday, May 1, contractors’ work will be complete, so city staff will be able to finish installation of public-use technology and staff workspaces, and relocation of collections. Although the library remains closed to the public, distribution of books continues with curbside pickup. For more information contact Carol Rofkar, Superintendent of Communications/Facilities/Fleet/Traffic, at email@example.com or (360) 778-7973.
Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT)
Drivers can get real-time traffic information on their phone with the WSDOT traffic app, tracking the WSDOT north Twitter feed, and get advanced information from the WSDOT construction page. For ongoing information on projects that could impact your travel, visit https://wsdot.wa.gov/construction-planning/search-projects.
For updates on County projects near Bellingham, visit the Whatcom County Public Works website. There is an option to subscribe for more information.
We provide this report as a public service based on currently available information. When traveling through a construction area – whether walking, cycling or driving – please be patient, travel with care and obey flaggers. In dark conditions, please make sure you’re visible to others. Planned road closures and restrictions are necessary to allow for a variety of work including resurfacing, sidewalk construction, water and sewer main work, and utility cuts. Dates, times and work locations may vary, depending on inclement weather or last-minute changes in work schedules. Questions? Email AskPW@cob.org.