Goodbye, wobbly concrete road...

Published on Thu, Jun 20, 2002 by Meg Olson

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Goodbye, wobbly concrete road...

By Meg Olson

This summer’s road construction season will see traffic rerouted on some local roads, but not as much as some might have hoped.

While the signal light at the intersection of Boblett and state route 543 and the improvements to exit 274 are scheduled for this year, the truck route reconstruction is on hold pending voter approval of an $8 billion tax package this fall to fund statewide transportation improvements. “Basically it’s held hostage to that tax package,” said Blaine assistant public works director Steve Banham. “If that passes it’ll move forward. If not, it stays on hold.”

Both ramps at exit 274 will close for two-week periods from late July to the end of August and I-5 will be down to one lane through Blaine while state department of transportation crews replace or fix old concrete panels. “The good news is we get the bad panels taken out – you know, the ones that make you think all your tires just went flat,” Banham said. State roads engineer Mark Russell said they would be replacing some panels and restoring connections between them. “That section northbound before the truck crossing is one of the worst in the state and we’re going to fix that,” he said.

The bad news is detours through town for traffic that would normally have gotten on and off the freeway at Peace Portal Drive and Bell Road. That intersection will also get some paving improvements during the project.
At Boblett and SR 543, Banham said lane improvements and a traffic signal would be in place before the next school year. “We’re pushing hard to make sure that gets finished,” he said.

Further afield Russell said intermittent slowdowns could be expected through most of Bellingham during the summer, when the state will be fixing more bad sections of concrete freeway.
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