The goals of this multi-modal safety improvements project include: widening, reconstructing, and resurfacing approximately 0.5 miles of the Marine Drive roadway corridor to urban standards with the addition of bicycle lanes and concrete curb/gutter and sidewalk on each side of the roadway; providing street lighting; add pedestrian actuated crosswalk signal improvements likely near the Marine Trail Park at the trailhead; improve stormwater management for the roadway corridor.
The Marine Drive corridor is a very popular scenic bicycle route for commuting and recreation, with direct multimodal connections to downtown Bellingham. This project will add an additional half-mile to this multimodal-friendly corridor with the continuation of bicycle and pedestrian facility improvements from the west end of Marine Drive Reconstruction between Alderwood Ave and Locust Ave (constructed in 2022). In addition, it will facilitate the implementation of alternative multimodal access using the current route over Bridge #172, by providing connecting links to multi-agency (Port of Bellingham, City of Bellingham, and Whatcom County) regional multimodal trail system development.
Preliminary engineering, permitting, and right-of-way acquisition phases of the project are scheduled to begin in 2024, and roadway construction possibly beginning in 2026.
The project has been awarded $800,000 in Surface Transportation Block Grant and Transportation Alternatives Federal grant funds to be used toward construction phase costs. Whatcom County Public Works is currently looking for additional funding sources.