Summer event season is here. Independence Day holiday travel, the Port of Bellingham’s July 4 Independence Day celebration, the Downtown Sounds series beginning July 6, the Lake Whatcom Triathlon on July 9, NW Tune Up July 8-10, and many other wonderful summer events bring people out celebrating in our community and supporting our local businesses. Summer events also mean impacts to traffic and parking, and city street construction projects continue that may impact traffic as well. Please travel with patience and care.
NEXT WEEKEND: NW Tune Up
Downtown residents and businesses should plan now for downtown parking impacts and street closures July 8-10, as the community hosts the first-ever NW Tune Up, a three-day festival utilizing the downtown waterfront and Galbraith Mountain, expected to attract more than 2,000 mountain bikers and other festival participants over three days. Granary Avenue and West Laurel Street will be closed to vehicle traffic and public access, while Chestnut Street will be closed to vehicle traffic between Bay Street and Central Avenue (open to pedestrians.) Downtown parking, on-street and in lots, will likely be in high use. For more information about the event and locations, visit www.nwtuneup.com.
Little Squalicum Estuary
Construction crews are working on vegetation removal and access preparation for this habitat project at Little Squalicum Park. Construction crews and equipment will access the site from Lindbergh Drive. The east trail will be fully closed on the water side of Marine Drive while limited beach access will be available via the west trail. The Park will remain open on the land side of Marine Drive, with access from Bellingham Technical College and West Illinois Street. For more information, visit the Little Squalicum Estuary project webpage or contact Freeman Anthony, P.E., via email@example.com or (360) 778-7924.
Mill Avenue overlay
Restoration is underway on the Mill Avenue overlay project and the pedestrian access ramp will be completed over the next few weeks, along with final roadway preparation and paving at Samish Way. Residents can expect access limitations and some traffic impacts as the contractor finishes minor asphalt and restoration work. Road closures and one-way access – including along Samish Way – will occur and 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, work is progressing quickly and both the Operations Center and the vehicle barn should be complete by the end of the year. At the new Ops Center, plumbing, HVAC, sprinkler systems, electrical work and window installations are nearly done. Drywall work is underway. Across the yard, steel framing has been going up on the vehicle barn and should continue over the next six weeks. 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 website 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 will begin mobilization and access work on Monday, July 11, as part of 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. 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 provides a new single-span concrete structure over Whatcom Creek. The wooden piles within Whatcom Creek have been removed and the in-stream habitat below the bridge restored. The bridge is open with some work remaining to be completed, such as handrail installation and cleanup. All remaining work will be completed with lane closures, the road will not be closed again for the project. Typical work hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. with intermittent lane closures. 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
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 have begun the project’s electrical work, which will be completed by the end of June and the facility will be online for stormwater treatment. 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 Craig Mueller, P.E., the project engineer, at email@example.com or (360) 778-7922.
Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT)
WSDOT recommends planning ahead for travel for the 4th of July holiday, especially as there will be weekend work on I-5. And next week, state crews will be working on the I-5 ramps throughout Bellingham. Drivers can get real-time traffic information on their phone with the WSDOT traffic app or via the WSDOT north Twitter feed.
For updates on other 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 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.