Meador Avenue and James Street Whatcom Creek Bridge Replacement Projects

Project Overview: ER-0015 & ER-0016

James Street and Meador Avenue are federally classified major collectors serving the surrounding neighborhoods in the middle of Bellingham. The two bridges to be replaced were originally built in 1936 and rebuilt in 1962 and are nearly identical. Both are built on timber piers which have been deteriorating. The project includes removal and replacement of the two bridges with single span bridges with varying cross sections. Improvements will also consist of replacing existing water main on the bridges, relocating existing sanitary sewer infrastructure, mitigating stormwater, relocating franchise utility, and other work associated with the replacement of the bridges.

Bridge over Whatcom Creek
Meador Avenue Bridge

While the bridges are being designed and constructed as one project, each bridge is funded separately by Federal Local Bridge Program Funds as well as local Street Funds and costs will be tracked and reported separately. Construction is expected for spring/summer 2022 and every effort will need to be made to minimize disruption to local businesses and school buses from the Bellingham Public School Bus Yard within the project limits. The two bridges received two separate Federal Highway Bridge Program awards and are considered separate projects in the STIP. Both projects are federally funded through the WSDOT STP(BR) bridge replacement program.

Bridge over Whatcom Creek
James Street Bridge

Major challenges in this approach would be permitting, physical construction of both bridges, traffic control, cost tracking, coordination and other items associated with building two bridges together. Stormwater management, meeting redevelopment standards for water quality, and flow attenuation, will be required in accordance with current City of Bellingham and Department of Ecology Standards.

Status – January 2021

Accomplishments: Design phase.

Next Milestones: 30% Design and begin permitting process.

Project Details


​Aric Smathers, PE
Phone: (360) 778-7942

Participating Departments

Affected Neighborhoods