SR 539 / Guide Meridian Widening: Tenmile Road to SR 546

Bellingham, Washington: Four mile long widening of the Guide Meridian including four new bridges and two bridge widenings.

Project Details

This fast track project transforms four miles of the heavily traveled SR 539 (Guide Meridian) from a narrow, two lane highway into a four lane highway with turn lanes. An aggressive schedule was set by the owner, in part to accommodate the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. The project involves long stretches of roadway in between bridges being replaced or widened at Wiser Lake, Fishtrap Creek and the Nooksack River. Roundabouts are being constructed at four major intersections, replacing the signals that are currently there. At the Nooksack River Bridge, the first steel truss bridge on a Washington State highway since 1986 was constructed. Substructure work at piers two and three required an 18 foot deep cofferdam; the project team had to pour a cell with telescopic driven piles. Given that the entire project lies within a major flood plain, environmental compliance was a major emphasis. Pictured is an area of the project during summer conditions, and then again during a flood in January, 2009. The project team rose to the challenge, and received consistent accolades for its handling of Erosion and Water Pollution control.

Project specs

  • Location: Bellingham, Washington
  • Owner: Washington State Department of Transportation
  • Timeframe: 2008 - 2010
  • Size: $53.9 million