Want to enjoy the sunsets at Boulevard Park? Expect to leave your car behind

Enjoy the sunset at Boulevard Park in Bellingham

People enjoy a September sunset from Boulevard Park on the bay in Bellingham, Wash.
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People enjoy a September sunset from Boulevard Park on the bay in Bellingham, Wash.

The main entrance to Boulevard Park at the end of Bayview Drive is closed for approximately two weeks beginning Monday, May 13.

The street closure means that visitors to one of the city’s most popular green spaces will have to get to the park by foot or by bicycle on the South Bay Trail — from the downtown Bellingham side — or via Taylor Dock from the Fairhaven side.

There also are a few vehicle parking spaces in small lots in the park’s upper reaches along South State Street, with a pedestrian link to the South Bay Trail.

Bayview Drive empties into the park entrance and its main parking lot. On any warm, sunny day the street and parking lot are packed with vehicles. People also go to the park to enjoy sunsets.

The street closure is part of a $3 million project at the waterfront park, which will remain open.

The work has two parts, according to a previous Bellingham Herald article:

One involves demolishing the roughly 40-foot wooden overpass that allowed pedestrians to cross the railroad tracks at the north end of the park. It is beyond repair and won’t be replaced, Parks officials said.

Also referred to as a trestle bridge, the estimated 40-year-old vertical structure has been closed since February 2016 because of rot and damage caused by carpenter ants.

A crane will be used to help demolish the overpass, part of which arches over the railroad tracks. That part of the project will require intermittent closures along part of the South Bay Trail.

The other piece of the work will reroute all of the park’s utilities — water, sewer, telecommunications and power — from the wooden overpass, where they’re currently attached. The utilities will then be buried in the ground from Bayview Drive to State Street, according to Parks officials.

Parks officials are asking for the public’s patience during the project, which will cause intermittent closures in parts of the park and should be completed by September, depending on weather.

Stay updated on the project and park access at the Bellingham Parks and Recreation Department’s Facebook page.

Kie Relyea has been a reporter at The Bellingham Herald since 1997 and currently writes about social services and recreation in Whatcom County. She started her career in 1991 as a reporter and editor in Northern California.