Rail work will close road for three days near Acme

A major railroad crossing improvement project will make it challenging for drivers to get to Acme from the north for three days next week.

State Route 9, also known as Valley Highway, will be closed just south of Homesteader Road from 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 24, through 6 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 26, according to a news release from the Washington State Department of Transportation. Because there are so few alternative routes in that area, the detour could be more than 30 miles, depending on where people are traveling. The detour will use State Route 9, State Route 20 and Mount Baker Highway to get around the closure.

Businesses in the area are also expected to be impacted by the closure. Everybody’s Store, which is a few miles north of the construction project, will keep normal store hours but will probably cut back on staffing, said co-owner Jeff Margolis. The closure comes during one of the store’s busiest months of the year. So far this month sales are up about 20 percent compared to the previous year, Margolis said.

“We hope to see some people from the north, which still has access to the river,” Margolis said. “Otherwise there is always work for me to do in the garden.”

BNSF Railway will use the closure to overhaul the 30-year-old railroad crossing, installing new rail, ties, and concrete, according to the news release.

Drivers can get state road construction updates at WSDOT’s website.

▪  Driving on Interstate 5 near Bellingham should be much smoother with the completion of a major repaving project.

Crews have finished work on a 10-mile stretch of I-5 between the Iowa Street exit and Nulle Road. The $1.3 million project was finished on time and on budget, according to WSDOT.

The major repaving project between Ferndale and Blaine is expected to be finished in September, according to WSDOT.

Dave Gallagher: 360-715-2269, @BhamHeraldBiz