Project Overview: ES-0550
In 2019, Public Works staff and Reid Middleton consultants are engaged in a comprehensive study of the two closely-spaced intersection at Meridian/Birchwood and Meridian/Squalicum to examine alternatives to converting these intersections into roundabouts. The traffic signals at these two intersections must be operated in tandem and they are nearing the end of their functional lifespan. Squalicum Parkway is a designated heavy freight truck route that connect the Bellingham Waterfront to Interstate 5 through these intersections that are often very congested with vehicle traffic. The City will be constructing the Orchard Drive Extension (see below) multimodal arterial connection from James Street beneath I-5 to Birchwood, which will add vehicle traffic into the congested Meridian/Birchwood intersection. The long-desired Bay to Baker multiuse trail (see below) is envisioned to pass through these intersections to connect to the Squalicum Creek Trail and Sunset Pond Park.
Due to significant environmental and critical area features (Streams, wetlands, forest habitat, steep slopes), as well as sidewalks, bikeways, and trails and parks along both sides of the Meridian Street corridor, it may be necessary to consider both traditional and non-traditional alternatives and assess these for benefits and costs to construct. The project team will engage the public and seek input at a public Open House event and at surrounding Neighborhood Association meetings during the course of the feasibility study. Ultimately, a “recommended alternative" will be identified, which will allow Public Works to begin seeking state and federal grant funding for construction in future years.
Status: December 2018 to October 2019
Multi-Agency Project Team
- Bellingham Public Works Engineering, Operations, & Natural Resources
- Bellingham Parks Department
- Whatcom Transportation Authority
- Port of Bellingham
- Reid Middleton Consultants