Travelers can expect more border delays
By Tara Nelson
Travelers who plan on crossing the U.S./Canadian border at the Peace Arch port of entry can continue to expect detours and delays.
Bill Lesh, a spokesperson for the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) said Monday northbound I-5 traffic to Canada has been rerouted to southbound I-5 lanes at the exit 276 at D Street and will remain in place well into 2009.
The detour will take motorists north through the east side of the U.S. border inspection facility where it will rejoin existing I-5 northbound lanes.
The detours will allow construction crews to build a new bridge that will connect northbound I-5 to the Peace Arch customs facility and is part of a larger plan to expand the current facility to improve traffic flow and inspections.
One general purpose lane and one NEXUS lane will be open during the detour for northbound traffic.
The agency also began rerouting southbound traffic to three lanes on the west side of the facility’s primary inspection building last July and the detour will likely continue well into the fall of 2010.
Three general purpose lanes will remain open and one NEXUS lane will remain open for southbound traffic.
In the meantime, Lesh said the D Street exit (Exit 276) to Blaine will remain open, but there will be no northbound access to I-5. Instead, northbound motorists will be detoured east on D Street to SR 543 and then north to the Pacific Highway Border Crossing. NEXUS hours there have been expanded to 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. for northbound lanes and 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. for southbound lanes.
Normal hours for the Peace Arch NEXUS lanes will remain.
To access the northbound Peace Arch border crossing, drivers need to travel as far south as the I-5 onramp near Birch Bay Square.
Drivers can check border cameras and wait times before traveling, which are available at www.wsdot.wa.gov/traffic/border.