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New E Pole Road closure combined with Mt Baker Hwy closure compound delays for motorists

WHATCOM COUNTY, Wash. — An unnamed tributary to Fourmile Creek fish passage improvement project has closed E Pole Road (SR544) for a month beginning on August 21st. Motorists are being directed around the closure via a signed 19-mile detour.

The closure will continue while contractor crews to replace an existing culvert with a new fish passable structure.

A signed detour route has been established around the work zone using Everson Goshen Road, Nooksack Road (SR9), Badger Road (SR546) and the Guide Meridian (SR539).

Detour routes around the 2 projects. Source: WSDOT

Due to this road closure and another 3-month closure on Mount Baker Highway (SR542), motorists coming from or heading toward east Whatcom County locations are now directed to take detour routes funneling high traffic volumes through intersections designed for lower traffic volumes. This is resulting in delays, especially during commute times not only on the detour routes but also on nearby roads.

Both projects are the result of a 2013 court-ordered permanent injunction that requires replacing state-owned culverts that block habitat for salmon and steelhead by 2030.

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