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Longer I-5 on-ramp to reopen in Bellingham

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Date:  Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Contact: Dustin Terpening, WSDOT communications, 360-757-5997 (Burlington)
Chris Damitio, WSDOT project engineer, 360-788-7403 (Bellingham)

BELLINGHAM – With an additional three football fields of length now added, the much longer Samish Way on-ramp to northbound Interstate 5 in Bellingham reopens this week, giving drivers significantly more room to accelerate and merge with traffic.

The Washington State Department of Transportation and its contractor plan to finish striping and lighting and then open the newly-remodeled ramp Thursday, June 28. Wet weather could potentially delay the opening.

“There’s a whole lot more room to get up to freeways speeds now,” said Project Engineer Chris Damitio. “Before, it almost felt like you had to dive into traffic by the time you got to the end of the ramp. The extra length should really help smooth the merge and improve traffic flow and safety.”

The ramp was closed for the past three months while crews working for WSDOT finished building a 900-foot-long retaining wall to support the longer ramp. It was expected to open in May but repairs to the wall added an additional month of work to the closure.

“We greatly appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding while we’ve had the ramp closed for the past three months,” Damitio said. “We know how inconvenient it has been, and we’re glad to get it back open.”

The Samish Way ramp improvements are part of a larger $4.4 million project that has lengthened three other I-5 on-ramps in Bellingham: the northbound Iowa Street ramp, southbound Sunset Drive ramp and the southbound Lakeway Drive ramp.

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