Blasting at Mount Baker Highway reroute to delay traffic

Drivers on Mount Baker Highway could be delayed as much as 30 minutes next week while crews blast rock in preparation for rerouting the highway away from the Nooksack River.

Crews will remove about 150 dump truck loads of rock from where the new section of highway will be built, between Maple Falls and Glacier. Blasting is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, March 2-3. Traffic will be stopped for up to 30 minutes at temporary signals that were installed at both ends of the work zone in early February.

A 1,000-foot stretch of highway was reduced to one lane on Feb. 8 after near-flood conditions eroded the riverbank to within 10 feet of the roadway. Traffic has been controlled by the temporary signals.

The highway realignment is expected to be finished by early April, when traffic will be restored to two lanes.

Businesses along the highway, including the Mt. Baker Ski Area, remain open.