State-Ellis Bridge Replacement

Project Overview: ER-0014

The State-Ellis Bridge across Whatcom Creek is a timber structure bridge supported by wooden piles located at the intersection of State and Ellis streets. The bridge was built in the 1930’s. It has gradually deteriorated and requires replacement.

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.

View of Whatcom Creek going under State-Ellis bridge on rainy day

In order to replace the bridge, it must be closed to traffic. 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.

During construction, the road will be closed to traffic and a detour in place rerouting traffic to Ohio Street, Cornwall Avenue, and York Street. See the detour map for more information. Northbound Forest Street and Ellis Street will be maintained. Crews will work 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays.

All in-water construction items will be completed between the regulatory fish window of July 1 to September 30.

This project is funded by a Federal Bridge Replacement Grant.

Status – August 2021

Accomplishments: Construction began on May 17, 2021.

Next Milestones: Bridge demolition, in-water work, and pile driving. The in-water work will be complete by September 30, 2021. The project is scheduled for completion in late December to January 2022. The detour for the project will remain in place to reroute traffic to Ohio Street, Cornwall Avenue, and York Street.

Project Details


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

Participating Departments

Affected Neighborhoods