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Friday, June 03, 2011
Dustin Terpening, WSDOT Communications, 360-757-5997 (Burlington)
Chris Damitio, Project Engineer, 360-788-7403 (Bellingham)
BELLINGHAM – A longer Samish Way on-ramp soon will make it easier to merge onto northbound I-5 in Bellingham.
The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) begins work Monday, June 6, to extend the ramp an additional 950 feet, roughly the distance of three football fields. The work will take approximately two months to complete.
“Today there’s not much room to merge once you reach bottom of the Samish ramp,” said WSDOT Project Engineer Chris Damitio. “You kind of have to dive right in with traffic. We’re going fix it by making the merge area much, much longer.”
Crews will close the Samish Way on-ramp nightly for the first week from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., Monday through Thursday nights. They also will close one lane of I-5 near the interchange from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. on the same nights.
During the nightly ramp closures, detour signs will direct drivers to the nearby Lakeway Drive interchange.
Work to lengthen the Iowa Street on-ramp to northbound I-5 continues as crews build a retaining wall along the shoulder of the interstate. And work to lengthen the Lakeway Drive on-ramp to southbound I-5 will continue for the next month or so.
When the $4.4 million project is finished later this year, drivers will be able to merge more easily with I-5 traffic at four ramps, and should see reduced congestion through the city. Find more information on the project website: www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/I5/BellinghamOnOffRamps.
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