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I-5 single lane near Bellingham

Harvey Field
Published:2016-12-22 Roads
I-5 single lane near Bellingham    Print Snohomish Times    
I-5 single lane near Bellingham

BELLINGHAM – Drivers using northbound Interstate 5 south of Bellingham should be prepared for extended delays and backups through next week as crews remove unstable rock from an adjacent hillside.

For the safety of the traveling public, the Washington State Department of Transportation will keep one of two lanes of northbound I-5, along a quarter mile stretch, between North Lake Samish (Exit 246) and State Route 11/ Old Fairhaven Parkway (Exit 250) closed until loose rocks can be safely removed from above the roadway.

The issue was first discovered on Tuesday, Dec. 20, when a member of the WSDOT Incident Response Team noticed rocks, dirt and bent trees along the hillside. Upon further investigation it was determined that additional debris needs to be removed from above the interstate before the lane reopens to traffic.

Emergency contractors working for WSDOT will soon begin removing a section of rocks approximately 30 feet above the highway. For the safety of the crews and the traveling public, the work is limited to daylight hours, but the area will be monitored around the clock. Drivers should expect delays and intermittent traffic stops while the hillside is scaled.

Emergency funds are being used to cover the cost of this project.

What does this mean for holiday drivers?
• With the holiday travel weekend approaching, drivers headed on northbound I-5 toward Bellingham or Canada should be prepared for delays.
• With anticipated heavy holiday traffic, backups could stretch for two miles during peak periods.
• Drivers who are able to adjust their trip to leave earlier or later will help reduce congestion and avoid delays.
• For destinations in central or western Whatcom County, State Route 9 is a possible alternate route.

Before they head out the door, drivers can get real-time traffic information on their mobile device with the WSDOT traffic app or by tracking the WSDOT north Twitter feed and can get advanced information from the local highway construction page.

Hyperlinks within the release:
• WSDOT traffic app: wsdot.wa.gov/Inform/mobile.htm
• WSDOT north Twitter feed: twitter.com/wsdot_north
• WSDOT Northwest Washington construction page: www.wsdot.com/northwest/construction




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