Hikers and other outdoor recreationists should expect delays when traveling to the Mt. Baker area out of Bellingham this summer as the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) has begun construction on a summer-long project on Mt. Baker Highway.
WSDOT contractor crews excavated a 300-foot long by 40-foot deep section of State Route 542 in preparation for bridge construction at the Squalicum Creek fish passage site between Britton and Noon roads, according to a June 15 news release. The contractor closed the project site following Memorial Day Weekend with construction expected to last up to 3.5 months.
Travelers are detoured around the work zone on county roads. Those heading eastbound on SR 542 are directed to head north on Hannegan Road to East Smith Road to SR 542. Travelers heading westbound should take SR 542 to East Smith Road south on Hannegan Road back to SR 542/Sunset Drive.
Local roads within the detour area will be open. There will be additional closures at the intersections of Kelly and Hannegan roads, Van Wyck and Hannegan roads, and Van Wyck and Noon roads to deter travelers from bypassing the detour.
The 150-foot, single-span bridge, which will replace a 6-foot by 6-foot box culvert, will improve habitat for native fish. Squalicum Creek primarily supports pink, chum and coho salmon as well as resident and cutthroat trout. Project funding was $8.8 million before construction.
More information and updates can be found at bit.ly/42ZAKxA.