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It's Your Nickel, Watch it Work
Funded in part by the 2003 Legislative Funding Package.

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Northwest Region

  

Quarterly Project Report
  June 2006
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Projects along State Route 9 
North of Arlington
• SR 9 - 268th St. Intersection Improvements
 
• SR 9 - Schloman Rd. to 256th St. E Safety Improvements 
 
South of Arlington  
SR 9 - SR 528 Intersection Improvements
 
South of Marysville
• SR 9 - 108th St. NE (Lauck Rd.) - Safety Improvements 
South Snohomish County  
 
SR 9 SR 522 to 212th St. - Widening  
SR 9: 212th to 176th Street SE - Stage 3 
 
Whatcom County 
• SR 9 - Nooksack Road Vicinity to Cherry Street  
   

SR 9 - Nooksack Road Vicinity to Cherry Street

Construction phase
Project location map: State Route 9, from Nooksack Road to Cherry Street, east of Lynden  View entire map


We will remove three 90-degree turns along SR 9 with our new alignment of the highway.

During construction we will remove three 90-degree turns from SR 9. 

New Highway 9 alignment.
Newly paved roadway is wider and straighter. 

Project Facts
We realigned, widened and paved SR 9.  Freight traffic will move faster and more efficiently along the highway on their way to and from the border.
Construction took one year to complete, instead of two.  We originally expected to finish fall 2007.
Two of the four highways (SR 543 and SR 9) leading to border crossings in Whatcom County were under construction this summer.
Project Status
 
December 2006

• We opened the highway 9 a.m. Wednesday, November 22.

• Construction crews will remain in the area for the next several weeks as they finish work and start cleaning up.

 

Overview
We dramatically change and improve State Route 9 between Lindsey Road (near Nooksack) and Cherry Street (in Sumas) in Whatcom County near the Sumas border crossing. We straightened, widened and smoothed the highway to make it safer and more accessible year round for both cars and trucks. We removed three ninety-degree turns from the highway and we improved drainage beneath the road surface. We want trucks carrying goods and services to move faster and safer along SR 9 on their way to and from the border.

Why is WSDOT realigning and repaving State Route 9?
The commercial trucking industry relies heavily on SR 9 to move goods and services across the border because it hosts one of only two 24-hour commercial border crossings in Whatcom County. Unfortunately we often had to close the highway for accidents and extreme weather conditions. Trucks routinely ended up in the ditch because of the narrow roadway and sharp corners. And, we often put weight restrictions on the road during freezing temperatures to protect it from heavy trucks. The new road will help prevent winter closures and will reduce the number and severity of accidents.

The End Result
State Route 9 is straighter, wider and more operable during harsh winter weather.  Freight traffic will move more efficiently and safer along the highway to the International Border.

We built nearly three miles of new roadway east of today’s SR 9. Instead of turning left onto Garrison Road, SR 9 continues east on East Badger Road and gradually sweeps north (left) towards Sumas, eventually running into Easterbrook Road at mile post 95.8 and continuing north to Cherry Street in Sumas. This follows nearly the same path as the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad.

New lighting was installed and existing drainage systems were upgraded to meet current standards. Roadside hazards, such as telephone poles, ditches, culverts, non-breakaway sign posts and fence posts were relocated to increase motorist safety. 

Project Benefits
• We widened and repaved SR 9 from a half mile north of Lindsay Road to Garrison Road.
• We built three miles of new highway east of the today’s SR 9 that follows a similar path as the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad from Garrison Road up to Cherry Street. We removed the existing Easterbrook Road to build the new highway.
• The new SR 9 lanes are 12 feet wide, and the shoulders are four feet to eight feet wide.  The highway remains two lanes.
• We repaved SR 547 from Cherry Street to Sumas Avenue.
• We extended Sumas Avenue south, from SR 547 down to SR 9. Sumas Avenue was a dead end. Now the lanes are 10 feet wide.  The shoulders are eight feet wide on one side and three feet wide on the other.
• We shifted the southern intersection of Garrison Road and Badger road to the west, away from the railroad crossing to improve safety.
• Garrison Road north of SR 9 will be closed to through traffic.

What is the project timeline?
• We opened the highway 9 a.m. Wednesday, November 22.
• IMCO completed major constuction in late October.
• Construction started April 10, 2006. 
• We awarded the two-year-long project to IMCO General Construction of Bellingham on February 27, 2006.
• In January we notified contractors that they could competitively bid on this project.  We publicly advertise projects so that interested contractors can submit cost-estimate bids.
• Four separate roads will be temporarily closed for a combined total of 125 days during construction. We will provide signed detour routes and advanced notification of road closures to prepare drivers and help them around the closures.

Public Involvement
Your thoughts and opinions are important to us. A public awareness meeting was held Tuesday, September 19, 2000, at the Nooksack Valley High School. A public access meeting was held October 14, 2003, at Sumas City Hall. The public was invited to come and learn more about the project. Contact the project engineer for more information at damitic@wsdot.wa.gov.

Environmental Protection
In order to receive our permits to build this project, we agreed to build a new 2.3-acre wetland near Johnson Creek.

Efforts to protect fish passages were a significant part of this project. We installed two new concrete box culverts to improve drainage and fish passage along Easterbrook Creek and Bone Creek.
• One six foot by six foot concrete culvert at Easterbrook Creek
• One 15 foot by eight foot concrete culvert at Bone Creek
We realigned 580 feet of Bone Creek near Bowen Road because we shifted Easterbrook Road to the east. Existing culverts were cleaned and extended, and all existing culverts less than 18 inches wide were replaced.

WSDOT makes every effort to assess and minimize environmental impacts from our projects. During project design, WSDOT worked to reduce the impact to wetlands, creeks and rivers in the project area. We completed a detailed analysis of the project's environmental impacts, and developed an appropriate plan for mitigation of impacts and as part of the Environmental Documentation and Environmental Permitting processes.


Please visit the WSDOT Environmental Services Web site for more information.

Increasing safety is one of our priorities
Rebuilding SR 9 will help prevent winter weather from causing weight restrictions and road closures. New lighting at railroad crossings and intersections will improve motorists' sight distance and increase safety. 

Will this project impact tribal resources?
At WSDOT we seek to address the concerns of the tribal nations using the process outlined in Section 106 of The National Historic Preservation Act and the WSDOT Tribal Consultation Policy adopted in 2003 by the Transportation Commission as part of the WSDOT Centennial Accord Plan.

For more information visit our WSDOT Tribal Liaison Web site.

Section 106 consultation was initiated in February 2000 and re-initiated in March 2003 with the Nooksack, Lummi, and Marietta Band of the Nooksack Tribes. The federally recognized Tribes (Nooksack and Lummi) were called as a follow-up. Each were sent copies of the completed Cultural Resource Survey for review and comment.

Financial Information
This project is funded through the following fund sources:

  • 2003 Gas Tax (Nickel Funding) - $15,205,000
  • Existing Funds - $2,194,000
  • Total Funding Available From All Sources - $17,399,000 

For project schedule and updates, please see the Quarterly Project Report

How can I get more information?
Contact:

Project Engineer, Chris Damitio
WSDOT Bellingham Project Office
460 Stuart Road
Bellingham, WA 98226
Phone: (360) 788-7400
E-mail: DamitiC@wsdot.wa.gov

or

Communications Dustin Terpening
WSDOT Mt. Baker Headquarters
1043 Goldenrod Road, Suite 101
Burlington, WA 98233-3415
Phone: (360) 757-5997
E-mail: Terpenid@wsdot.wa.gov

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