West Bakerview/Interstate 5 Interchange Improvements

​​​​​​​​​Project Overview​: ES-0500

Background

  • 2​008: 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.  
Please contact the staff listed below for more information regarding the current status of this project:

Project Documents​

Project Details

  • Status: Multi-Agency Interchange Justification Report (IJR) complete and approved by FHWA (2017)
  • Final Contract Amount: $250,000​
  • Vicinity Map (see PDF maps above) 

Contacts

​Chris Comeau
Transportation Planner
Phone: 360-778-7946
Public Works​ Contacts

Participating Departments

Affected Neighborhoods

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