Construction was originally anticipated to begin in Spring 2022, but has been rescheduled to begin in Spring 2023. This schedule shift is due to additional time needed to complete all right of way negotiations and to obtain all environmental permits. In addition, concrete girder fabrication time is now taking 6 to 9 months, which is much longer than in past years.
Construction should begin in late May 2023, with the existing bridge closed to all traffic. This will include construction of a temporary work bridge across the lake to the east of the existing bridge so the contractor can more easily demolish the existing bridge and construct the new bridge. A signed detour will be in place for approximately 13 months while the new bridge is under construction. We expect the new bridge will open to traffic in June 2024.
Public Works would like to thank the Lake Samish community and key stakeholders for their participation in the three public meetings held as part of the Type, Size, and Location Study (TS&L) for replacement of the existing N. Lake Samish Bridge 107. The final TS&L can be found at the link below
Whatcom County routinely performs safety inspections of all County owned bridges. During one of these inspections crews found increased amounts of rot in the wood of the bridge superstructure over the water. Weight capacity on the bridge was greatly reduced to maintain safety. Without some immediate solution the bridge would have to be closed to heavy traffic including school buses and fire district vehicles.
Multiple alternatives were investigated to address this issue with the preferred solution was to restrict the bridge to one-lane at the center span while designs for a replacement structure are prepared. This reduction to one-lane allows continued access for all passenger, school, and fire district vehicles with only minimum delays. The one-lane restriction was implemented in March 2016.
Traffic will still be allowed in both directions over the bridge with a stop sign at each side. Drivers in opposite directions will need to take turns using the single lane portion of the bridge.
Whatcom County would like to express thanks for your patience and understanding during this replacement process. Should there be any questions please send them by email to PublicWorks@co.whatcom.wa.us for the most prompt response.