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Orchard Drive extension under I-5 in Bellingham to open this month

Graphic overlay indicating course of Orchard Street connector. Source: City of Bellingham

BELLINGHAM, Wash. — According to City of Bellingham’s website, a soon to be completed street project will provide the first new means to cross I-5 in Bellingham since the highway was constructed in mid-1960’s.

The Orchard Drive extension project will connect James Street at Orchard Drive with the Birchwood Avenue and Squalicum Parkway intersection. The project has been underway since March and is “considerably ahead of schedule” according to Bellingham Public Works.

The project will connect James Street at Orchard Drive with the Birchwood Avenue and Squalicum Parkway intersection.

The opening of the new street will occur once street lighting and signal poles are available and installed, likely this month, according to City of Bellingham Public Works.

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Once the new street is in place, it will provide a direct connection from the King Mountain neighborhood to the hospital and alleviate congestion on Ellis Street as well as the Meridian and Sunset Drive I-5 crossings. The project will include bicycle lanes in both directions and lighted sidewalks on the north side of Orchard and will convert the James Street intersection to a stop light.

Bellingham Public Works (December 10, 2021)

The Squalicum Creek Trail through the same area was recently reopened to the public.

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