Traffic cameras, message board planned for Guide Meridian and Highway 9 in Sumas


BELLINGHAM - Construction is set to start Monday, May 5, on a $2.8 million project to install traffic cameras along Guide Meridian north of Bellingham and on Highway 9 near the Sumas border crossing.

In addition, a weather station and a northbound message board are planned for the Guide, giving motorists real-time information about weather and road conditions on the heavily traveled road. Nearly 18,000 cars traveled Guide Meridian daily from Hemmi Road north in 2011, according to the latest figures available from the Whatcom Council of Governments.

Two cameras are planned near the Sumas crossing, providing online access to traffic and border crossing information.

Twelve cameras are planned to Guide Meridian, also known as state Highway 539, from Horton Road north of Bellingham to Main Street in Lynden.

Those traffic cameras will join 30 cameras providing online video feeds along Interstate 5 in Whatcom County and three cameras on Guide Meridian between Pole and River roads.

Access the camera feeds and other information at

Weather permitting, construction will continue through the summer with the cameras and message board ready by fall, according to a news release from the state Department of Transportation.

"Cameras and weather stations help provide accurate collision and weather information to emergency responders, the media and public," said project engineer Chris Damitio. "From crashes and backups to bad weather, this equipment has been proven to be a good investment to help keep drivers safe and moving along our highway system."

Most of the funding for the project comes from federal funds aimed at providing safe movement across the U.S-Canada and U.S.-Mexico borders.

Crews will be working along the northbound shoulder of Highway 9 in Sumas and on both shoulders of Guide Meridian. Motorists should expect intermittent lane closures from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays during construction, which involves laying six miles of fiber-optic cable.

Reach Robert Mittendorf at 360-756-2805 or

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