At the mid-point of May, construction projects – including on City streets – are ramping up and could impact traffic. Not all are Bellingham’s, but still affect travel through town, such as construction along Samish Way and along I-5 at Fairhaven Parkway and at the I-5 exits at Bakerview. As always, please travel with care.
Padden Creek fish passage – I-5 and State Route 11
Work is underway on a pair of culverts under Interstate 5 and State Route 11 in south Bellingham that have blocked salmon and other fish from traveling upstream. The State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) is replacing those culverts. From Monday through Thursday, continuing through September, lane closures could occur, between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. The I-5 on-ramp will be affected as well. For more information, check out the WSDOT project report online.
State and Ellis – bridge replacement
A project to replace an 80-year-old wood-supported bridge on one of the major traffic routes through Bellingham is underway. The project, which could 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 remain open, with the road now closed to traffic. The detour reroutes traffic to Ohio Street, Cornwall Avenue, and York Street. (View detour map here.) Northbound Forest Street and Ellis Street will experience some impacts through mid-May as utility crews finish relocation of their services. Once the 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com or (360) 778-7922.
2020 TBD projects and 40th Street sidewalk
The 40th Street sidewalk and 2020 TBD (Transportation Benefit District) projects are complete with minor follow-up tasks being completed. Road users through the area may experience 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com or (360) 778-7924.
Concrete repairs – streets and sidewalks
The City’s annual concrete repair for streets and sidewalks throughout Bellingham is in progress. Repair crews are working 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.
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. For more information, email AskPW@cob.org.