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Marine Drive reconstruction and improvements project construction start moved to October

Signs with a rectangular rapid flash beacon (RRFB) mounted on a light pole at 1st Avenue and Main Street (April 24, 2020). Photo: Whatcom News
Signs with a rectangular rapid flash beacon (RRFB) mounted on a light pole at 1st Avenue and Main Street (April 24, 2020). Photo: Whatcom News

BELLINGHAM, Wash. — Construction on a planned road project on on Marine Drive between Locust Avenue and Alderwood Avenue has been pushed forward to October after initially being expected to start in September. Whatcom County Public Works cited material shortages as the reason for the delay.

The project will widen and reconstruct the existing roadway to allow the addition of pedestrian and bicycle facilities on Marine Drive between Locust Avenue and Alderwood Avenue.

Single-lane road closures have been occurring while utilities through the work area have been relocated.

Starting in October, work will begin on an underground stormwater vault at the intersection of Marine Drive and McAlpine Road. Drivers can expect significant traffic delays for a couple weeks due to this portion of the project.

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County Public Works officials promise a more detailed construction schedule and anticipated traffic impacts as they get closer to the expected October start.

Ends of work area denoted by red markers.

Specific aspects of the project include the following.

  • Widen, reconstruct, and resurface the Marine Drive roadway corridor.
  • Add concrete curb/gutter and sidewalks on both sides of roadway.
  • Add 5-foot wide bicycle lanes adjacent to vehicle lanes.
  • Add a crosswalk equipped with a push button activated rapid flashing beacon in the vicinity of the Port of Bellingham’s Marine Drive trail system and parking lot.
  • Increase the unobstructed area adjacent to the roadway by relocating above ground utilities and poles, and replacing existing roadside ditches with a tight-line stormwater conveyance system.
  • Improve stormwater management for the roadway corridor.
Marine Drive roadway project draft engineering design. Source: Whatcom County Public Works
Marine Drive roadway project draft engineering design. Source: Whatcom County Public Works

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