April showers supposedly bring May flowers, so we might expect to see some rain and seasonal storms, as well as construction and street projects, that could impact traffic. As always, it is important to travel with care.
Mill Avenue overlay
Crews continue to work on mainline storm pipe installation for the Mill Street overlay project. Residents can expect substantial traffic impacts as the contractor continues the stormwater piping installation which will include bedrock removal in some areas. Cascade Natural Gas is onsite relocating utilities as needed. Road closures will occur throughout March as clearing gets underway, minor detours will be posted. For more information, visit the Mill Avenue overlay project website or contact Freeman Anthony P.E. at firstname.lastname@example.org or (360) 778-7924.
City Operations Center – Pacific and Carolina streets
At the site of the City’s new administrative services center, iron workers have laid decking for all five floors and concrete has been poured for most floors. Crews continue to add rebar and set forms for the elevator and stairwell walls as they pour the steps. Across the yard in the southwest corner, phase two has begun: demolishing the old storage barn and small building in preparation for expanded and improved storage. Groundwork has begun with underground plumbing being laid. While a section of Nevada Street is closed to traffic due to construction, the sidewalk remains open. There may be occasional truck traffic. To learn more about any of this work, visit the project webpage or contact Chris Jacox, at email@example.com or (360) 778-7700.
West Cemetery Creek water quality improvements
The West Cemetery Creek Water Quality Improvement project includes work to install sediment control-and-capture structures along with stormwater outfall repairs within a portion of the Creek. These improvements will help reduce sediment in the creek and improve its stability. The project includes installation of large woody debris and repair of existing outfalls. Work has been suspended until spring. This summer, work areas will be along the westbound lanes of Lakeway and Old Lakeway drive. Trail closures are posted and marked, with alternate routes identified. For more information visit the West Cemetery Creek Water Quality Improvements or West Cemetery project webpage or contact Freeman Anthony P.E. at firstname.lastname@example.org or (360) 778-7924.
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 continues through April. The project 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 single lane closures throughout the project’s duration. Crews are now focused on completing the barriers, sidewalk, bridge approach slab, overhanging slab and other work to prepare the project for completion. Typical work hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. There is a lot of concrete to place now through the bridge’s completion, which is weather-sensitive and may impact work hours. The contractor has had difficulty performing the work and procuring materials, which has delayed completion of the bridge into late April, weather permitting. Updates for completion will be provided as the project progresses. 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.
Stormwater facility rebuild – Park Place (pictured)
The stormwater facility at 123 Park Place, east of Britton Road and North Shore Drive, is being rebuilt to remove phosphorus from stormwater heading into Lake Whatcom. Stormwater will be treated with Phosphorus Optimized Stormwater Treatment (POST) material, or media, which is a soil mixed with other components to facilitate the removal of the phosphorus from the stormwater before it is released into the lake. The POST system is a new stormwater treatment system; this is the first full-size system installed with the POST media for stormwater treatment. During the project, travelers can expect increased traffic during construction and intermittent lane closures on North Shore Drive and adjacent to the road. Crews work 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday (some Fridays) and have completed installation of the POST media. The only remaining work is paving the access road, electrical work, cleanup and landscaping. The seasonal exemption is complete and the only remaining work is not land-disturbing. For more information, please contact Aric Smathers, P.E. project engineer, at (360) 778-7942 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Park Place Water Quality Facility Reconstruction project webpage.
Sanitary sewer rehab – Whatcom Creek
At times over the next couple months bypass and sewer rehabilitation work will require closure and detouring of a portion of the Whatcom Creek trail and may include short-term impacts to traffic on James Street or Meador Avenue south of the creek. A map of the trail closure is available on the project webpage. The project limits start near the auto dealership at the intersection of Nevada Street and Whatcom Creek, and continue west along Whatcom Creek trail, around another car dealership, through the Bellingham School District bus property, and should continue south on Humboldt Street, west on Fraser Street, through the Bellingham Housing Authority, south on Franklin Street, across Ellis Street and along York Street ending just west of State Street. For more information and a site map visit the Whatcom Creek Trunk Main website or contact Larry Scholten, P.E., project engineer, at LJScholten@cob.org or (360) 778-7923.
Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT)
For updates on County projects near Bellingham, visit the Whatcom County Public Works website. There is an option to subscribe for regular updates.
This report is provided 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. When it’s dark, 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 weather or last-minute changes in work schedules. For more information, email AskPW@cob.org.