Birch Bay Road, Nooksack bridges get upgrades

Published on Wed, May 28, 2014 by Steve Guntli

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After a delay to accommodate Memorial Day weekend crowds, construction on a new Birch Bay-Lynden Road intersection began May 27. The road will be closed at the railroad crossing until Sunday, June 8, though the crossing could possibly reopen sooner, according to a Whatcom County press release. 

Detours will run from Portal Way to Grandview Road to Blaine Road. When construction is complete, the intersection will have a new traffic light and be raised by about 3 feet. Construction should be completed in November. 

Road crews began a long-term painting project on the two I-5 bridges crossing the Nooksack in Ferndale on Tuesday, May 27. Traffic on the bridges will be reduced to one lane in either direction from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. until the scaffoldings have been assembled. Some congestion and minor delays can be expected. The new paint job will protect the steel from rust and the elements. 

Once the actual painting begins, both lanes will be open and the speed limit on I-5 will be reduced from 70 mph to 60 mph. The project will continue on a weather-dependent basis, and could possibly stretch into 2015. Plastic canvas will be draped over the bridge to prevent paint and rust from falling into the Nooksack River.