City to replace State and Ellis bridge

Street detours, lane closures begin April 5; bridge to close in May

March 24, 2021 - by Amy Cloud, Communications and Outreach

Traffic along one of the main routes through Bellingham will be impacted the rest of the year, as crews work to replace an elderly wood-supported bridge at the intersection of State and Ellis streets.

The State and Ellis bridge is a timber structure bridge supported on wooden piles, originally built in the late 1930s.  The bridge has gradually deteriorated and requires replacement.  That work is scheduled to begin Monday, April 5. The project is anticipated to take up to nine months to complete.

Traffic impacts will be significant as State Street is a main route to access downtown.  All businesses in the area will be open during construction and access to the businesses will remain open as well.  Beginning in early May, the bridge will be fully closed to all traffic 24 hours a day for the duration of the project.  Franchise utilities such as Puget Sound Energy, Comcast, Centurylink and Cascade Natural Gas will begin relocating their facilities on Monday, April 5, with intermittent road and lane closures.

The new bridge structure will be a 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.  During construction, the road will be closed to traffic and a detour in place rerouting traffic to Ohio Street, Cornwall Avenue, and York Street. (View detour map here.) Northbound Forest Street and Ellis Street will be maintained. Crews will work 7 a.m.  to 7 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays.   

The project is funded by a federal bridge replacement grant.  

Property owners, businesses and neighborhoods directly affected by this City construction project have been notified.  For more information, please contact City of Bellingham Project Engineer Aric Smathers at (360) 778-7942 or  Additional information is available via the “State and Ellis bridge replacement project” webpage.

Media Contact

Amy Cloud
Communications and Outreach
City of Bellingham – Public Works

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