State transportation department announces Samish Way I-5 on-ramp closure could last two months

The Samish Way on-ramp to northbound Interstate 5 in Bellingham will close to traffic starting in April, when work to lengthen the ramp resumes.

The project has been on hold for the winter months but is scheduled to resume with warmer weather arriving.

The Washington State Department of Transportation will close the ramp April 2 for up to two months while the contractor, Vetch Construction, finishes building a retaining wall and lengthening the ramp. The closure could be delayed a week or two if cool, wet weather persists.

Last year, during construction, the Samish Way ramp remained open but was shortened and reconfigured to accommodate crews and equipment. The changes to the ramp made it difficult for drivers to merge onto I-5, said project engineer Chris Damitio, in a March 20 press release.

“We got a lot of feedback from drivers wanting us to change the ramp somehow or to just close it,” Damitio said. “We tried a number of different things to make merging smoother, but nothing really seemed to work very well.”

Approximately 8,300 vehicles use the Samish Way on-ramp daily. Drivers will be directed to the Lakeway Drive interchange during the closure.

Crews will close the ramp for the remainder of construction, and then will reopen the new, longer ramp when it’s complete.

Vetch Construction is scheduled to finish the ramp improvements within the next couple months. Crews are lengthening the ramp by an additional 950 feet to help make it easier for drivers to merge onto I-5.

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