BELLINGHAM - Drivers who use southbound Interstate 5 in south Bellingham should prepare for backups starting Tuesday morning, Sept. 18, when work will start to repair cracked concrete panels.
Washington State Department of Transportation crews will close the right lane of southbound I-5 at the Samish Way interchange for up to 36 hours straight starting at 5:30 a.m. Tuesday.
The Lakeway Drive on-ramp to southbound I-5 will close at the same time. Crews will shift left-lane traffic onto the shoulder to make room for the work. During busy commuting hours in the morning and afternoon, drivers can expect delays up to half an hour, so alternative routes are suggested.
Crews will dig out the broken concrete panels, which date back to when I-5 was first built through Bellingham more than 50 years ago. Once the panels are out, they'll rebuild the supporting material below the road and then pour new concrete panels. Those panels will have to cure and strengthen for about 12 hours before they can be driven on.