Project Overview: ES-0500
- 2008: Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) completed Fairhaven to Slater Interstate 5 (I-5) Master Plan, which recommends a $40 million Single Point Urban Interchange (SPUI) at the West Bakerview/I-5 interchange. WSDOT and City agreed that funding was unlikely to ever materialize for this.
- 2010-2011: WSDOT funds a multi-agency West Bakerview/I-5 Interchange Value Planning Study (VPS), which identified Option 1 low-cost short-term improvements and an Option 2 new northbound on-ramp, which would require an Interchange Justification Report (IJR) with WSDOT and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
- 2013: Option 1 was constructed by Bellingham in 2013 for $3.5 million with multiple funding partners (Whatcom County, Economic Development Investment Board, Port of Bellingham, Fred Meyer, and Transportation Improvement Board).
- 2014: Bellingham City Council adopts the 2015-2020 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) with the West Bakerview / Interstate 5 Interchange Improvements listed as unfunded TIP project 23.
- 2015: Bellingham contracts with WSDOT for $250,000 to lead the required IJR; the City of Bellingham successfully lobbied the State legislature to secure $10 million in "Connecting Washington" gas tax funds for West Bakerview / Interstate 5 Interchange Improvements.
- 2015-2016: Multi-agency IJR meetings occurred every month; 17 alternatives were narrowed down to 5 alternatives for in-depth analysis of the best option to improve multimodal safety, mobility, and circulation while reducing traffic congestion at I-5 in support of economic development in northwestern Bellingham.
- 2016: A public Open House was held on October 25 from 7:00 – 9:00pm at Alderwood Elementary School in northwest Bellingham and well- over 100 people attended. The IJR process concluded in December with a unanimous multi-agency recommendation for a new northbound on-ramp on the east side of I-5. The IJR received final signatures of approval from FHWA in June 2017 allowing project engineering to start.
- 2018-2020: WSDOT design of new on-ramp completed, right-of-way acquisition completed, and construction bids being readied for advertisement in October 2020 with construction anticipated for Spring 2021, pending adequate construction funding.
- Bellingham City Engineer: Chad Schulhauser at email@example.com
- Bellingham Transportation Planner: Chris Comeau at firstname.lastname@example.org
- WSDOT Planning Manager John Shambaugh at ShambaJ@wsdot.wa.gov
- WSDOT Project Engineer Melissa Ambler at AmblerM@wsdot.wa.gov
- Summary: What is an IJR? (PDF)
- 2008 WSDOT Interstate 5 Master Plan: Fairhaven to Slater (PDF)
- 2011 WSDOT I-5/Bakerview Value Planning Study (PDF)
- Introductory Power Point Presentation – February 25, 2015 (PDF)
- Bellingham Pedestrian & Bicycle Connectivity Analysis Presentation – May 2015 (PDF)
- Bellingham Pedestrian & Bicycle Connectivity Analysis Technical Memo – May 2015 (PDF)
- 2017 FHWA-Approved WSDOT I-5/Bakerview Interchange Justification Report (PDF)
- Map of Recent, Current, Approved, and Proposed Development in NW Bellingham – August 2018 (PDF)
- Status: Multi-Agency Interchange Justification Report (IJR) complete and approved by FHWA (2017)
- Final Contract Amount: $250,000
- Vicinity Map (see PDF maps above)
Public Works Contacts