Marine Drive gets bike paths, sidewalks to Locust Beach

Increased growth north of Bellingham is forcing Whatcom County to add wider bike paths, sidewalks and other improvements to Marine Drive, starting with the popular beach park.

Construction is due to resume after a winter break on a $ 4.2 million project on a half-mile stretch of Marine Drive from Locast Avenue north to Alderwood Avenue, the county’s public works department said in a statement Tuesday, Feb. 15.

A grant from the Federal Highway Administration is funding $ 2.5 million for improvements that include widening and restoring Marine Drive coverage, adding curbs, gutters and sidewalks on both sides of the road and adding five-foot bike lanes on each side, said Marie Duckworth, Public work. Representative of the department.

“It will get an upgrade to urban design,” Duckworth told The Bellingham Herald.

A pedestrian crossing with a signal light that pedestrians can activate is installed in the northern part of the project, next to the car park for the Marine Drive route system of Bellingham Harbor.

In the southern part of the project area is Locust Beach, a popular site for kiteboarding, skiboarding and beach skating.

Land on two plots for the park was bought the city of Bellingham for about $ 800,000 in 2012 and 2013, according to earlier reports from the Bellingham Herald.

“I think it will make it safer to visit Locust Beach, especially by bike,” said Nicole Oliver, director of Bellingham’s Parks and Recreation Department.

“I hope this will also improve regional communication,” Oliver told The Bellingham Herald.

Construction is expected to begin in March and continue in the summer, Duckworth said.

She said drivers can expect delays due to the overlap of one lane and traffic on the alternating lane during construction.

The detour will be available through the western end of the Alderwood neighborhood, heading north along Locust Avenue to McAlpine Road, then Hollywood Avenue, then Alderwood Avenue back to Marine Drive.

Robert Mittendorf covers in The Bellingham Herald civic issues, weather, traffic and how people cope with high housing prices. A journalist since 1984, he is also a volunteer firefighter at the South Whatcom Fire Authority.

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