Excessive rainfall, flooding close three City bridges

Damage assessment, cleanup continue

November 19, 2021 - by Amy Cloud, Communications and Outreach

Historic rainfall – 4.89 inches from Sunday midnight to Monday measured at Bellingham’s Post Point treatment plant – flooded city streets, parks, trails and lowlands earlier this week.  Due to falling branches and debris as well as water over roadways, City parks and many streets and bridges were temporarily closed.

Three bridges remain closed to vehicle traffic, pending damage assessment and repair. The closed bridges (view closures map) are at Meador and James streets and Rainier at 17th Street. Traffic detours are posted. Several footbridges within City parks are also being assessed for damage. 

According to Eric Johnston, Public Works director, the City is working to direct traffic around the bridge closures. There is currently no estimate on when repairs will be completed.

“We have established detour routes and directional signage,” said Johnston. “With the closed Meador and James Street bridges so close together, we fully understand the traffic impacts this has on the surrounding neighborhoods. We ask that drivers please be patient and respectful of residents and businesses in the neighborhood as we work to reopen these roads.”

Inspections began immediately to assess damage to City infrastructure caused by water and debris.  Bellingham Public Works is working with Whatcom County’s bridge inspectors. Due to extensive flood damage throughout the county, the City’s bridge inspections may be delayed.

Other than the closed bridges with detours in place, all City streets including Squalicum Parkway, as well as City parks are now open. Users are advised to use caution where standing water or debris remain.  In some parks, there were downed trees and significant trail damage and railings must be repaired at Maritime Heritage Park, according to City Parks Director Nicole Oliver.

“Dangerous trees and trail damage continue to be reported by the public, and parks crews are installing warning signs until repairs can be completed,” said Oliver.

To report downed trees, flooding, damage or dangerous conditions, residents are advised to utilize SeeClickFix or phone (360) 778-7700.

Media Contact

Amy Cloud
Communications and Outreach
City of Bellingham – Public Works

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