Island, Skagit and Whatcom counties traffic news


June 7, 2024

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A work of Art: Crews are clearing SR 542/Artist Point

Artist Point snow removal

Last week, our crews started blowing snow off of Artist Point! One step closer to the seasonal opening of this scenic mountain pass. Watching our crews clear snow off of SR 542 the road to Artist Point is truly a masterpiece.

Artist Point snow removal

The way our crews work together to cut through multiple feet of snow is like watching a sculptor mold clay or a choreographer's dance routine come together. A blank canvas (of snow) with painted lines (plowed roads) cutting across. Removing this snow requires repetitive, challenging, bumpy and skilled maneuvering of the dozer and snowblower.

We are still a few weeks out from reopening this seasonal closure point and the Artist Point parking lot is still CLOSED. If you choose to make your way up there, consider parking at the Bagley Lake Trailhead. Backcountry recreationalists can still access the Mount Baker Area but do so at their own risk.

Reminder: this is an active work zone. Give our crews room to work!

STAY TUNED for updates.

Surviving summer

Our besties, Washington State Patrol, Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC), and partner law enforcement agencies across the state are participating in a statewide “Surviving Summer: 90 Dangerous Days” campaign, with a goal of reducing serious injury and fatality collisions this summer.

“We can all stay safer by doing four simple things on our roadways: follow posted speeds, pay attention to other road users, drive sober, and buckle up.” Those at risk are not just drivers – but also vulnerable roadway users such as pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcycle riders. Half of all motorcycle fatalities occur during June, July, and August. July is when the greatest number of bicyclist fatalities occur.

Lowering the risk for everyone who shares the roadway requires a collaborative effort. Our law enforcement partners across the state are asking everyone to commit to safe road use and help protect those around them to make this a safe summer.

Stay safe and please buckle up!

Work zone safety in ACTION

damaged Road Warriors

In the last year our Mount Vernon crews experienced four work zone collisions – two on consecutive nights. Remember how the month of April was Work Zone Safety Month? A whole month where we shared stories about terrible and harrowing experience our crews have experiences like:

So, our crews are trying something different and doing this work in the early hours of Sunday morning. From 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., Sunday, June 9, both directions of I-5 in Mount Vernon and Burlington (mileposts 225 to 230) will be taking lanes for routine maintenance and vegetation management. In an effort to continue our work zone safety initiatives all our safety devises and IRT will assist with this project, including WSP support. This is a trial effort, an opportunity to try something new.... we are trying thoughtful, resource supported ways of keeping our crews safe, we are taking action.

Construction, maintenance and special events

Road work ahead

We often have special events and roadwork taking place in the Northend, including construction projects, maintenance and repairs. We always try to minimize any effects to travel, but sometimes it is necessary to close a lane to do the work or create a safe work zone for our crews.

While we aren't doing a lot of roadwork this week, our crews will still be out monitoring and keeping the roads safe. If you spot them, slow down and give them space to work! A huge thanks to our crews for all their hard work through the holidays. 

Want more information? Visit our real time travel center, where these projects and repairs can be found on our travel map, and download our app to receive alerts directly to your smartphone.

Monday, June 10

  • From 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Monday, June 10 maintenance crews will close the right lane of northbound Interstate 5 south of Bellingham between Bow Hill Road (milepost 236) and the Bow Hill Rest Area (milepost 238) for tree removal.

Monday, June 10 to Tuesday, June 11

  • From 9 p.m. Monday, June 10 to 5 a.m. Tuesday, June 11 maintenance crews will close the right lane of northbound Interstate 5 in Bellingham between Lakeway Drive (milepost 253) and State Route 542/Sunset Drive (milepost 255) for brush cutting and tree limb removal. The northbound I-5 on-ramp from Iowa Street will also close.

Monday, June 10 to Tuesday, June 14

  • Nightly from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. Monday, June 10 to Friday morning, June 14, utility crews will alternate traffic on State Route 544/Pole Road in Lynden between Golf View Drive (milepost 1.5) and Hannegan Road (milepost 2) for fiber work.

Tuesday, June 11 to Wednesday, June 12

  • From 9 p.m. Tuesday, June 11 to 5 a.m. Wednesday, June 12 maintenance crews will close the right lane of southbound Interstate 5 in Bellingham between State Route 542/Sunset Drive (milepost 255) and Lakeway Drive (milepost 253) for brush cutting and tree limb removal. The southbound I-5 on-ramp from Sunset Drive and the southbound I-5 off-ramp to Ohio Street will also close.

Wednesday, June 12 to Thursday, June 13

  • From 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, June 12 and Thursday, June 13 PSE crews will alternate traffic on State 9 north of Sedro-Woolley between Kalloch Road (milepost 59) and Cordy Lane (milepost 59.5) for utility work.

"Know before you go" resources:

Madison Sehlke & RB McKeon

Madison Sehlke
WSDOT communications