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Interstate 5 South: Whatcom County

Washington 548 south
Washington 548 begins at the D Street diamond interchange with Interstate 5 (Exit 276) and travels south into downtown Blaine. Interstate 5 begins and travels south to Bellingham, Everett, and Seattle. Photo taken 08/30/06.
The southbound beginning of Interstate 5 from Blaine. Drivers joining the fledgling freeway merge with motorists entering the U.S. from British Columbia through the border crossing at Peace Arch State Park. Photo taken 08/30/06.
Interstate 5 south
Motorists emanating from British Columbia pass through the customs station at Peace Arch State Park and immediately enter a diamond interchange with Washington 548 (Exit 276). This view looks from Peace Arch State Park at the overhead for Interstate 5's first interchange. Parking for the state park is available via D Street east from Exit 276. Photo taken 08/30/06.
Interstate 5 The first southbound shield of Interstate 5 posted along the 1,381.29-mile route between Blaine and San Ysidro, California. H Street passes over the four-lane highway in the background. Photo taken 08/30/06.
Welcome to Washington sign posted along Interstate 5 southbound between H Street and Mitchell Avenue. A Welcome to the United States of America sign resides at Peace Arch State Park ahead of the I-5 port of entry facility. Photo taken 08/30/06.
Ferndale represents the next city of interest along Interstate 5 south. Bellingham, the Whatcom County seat, follows in 21 miles. Seattle is 110 miles away. Photo taken 08/30/06.
A partial "Y" interchange brings drivers from Washington 543 southbound onto Interstate 5 ahead of this shield posted at the Hughes Avenue overpass. Washington 543 travels just 1.09 miles between Interstate 5 and B.C. 15, doubling as the mandatory truck route to and from British Columbia. Photo taken 08/30/06.

A second partial "Y" interchange adds motorists from Peace Portal Drive (historic U.S. 99) near its split with Washington 548 (Blaine Road) in south Blaine. Interstate 5 spans Dakota Creek, exits the city, and sees its third reassurance shield. Photo taken 08/30/06.
Ferndale follows in ten miles; Seattle is now 108 miles to the south. Photo taken 08/30/06.
Rural Interstate 5 angles southeast from Blaine to the first southbound exit outside of Blaine, Exit 270 with Birch Bay-Lynden Road. Birch Bay-Lynden Road connects the freeway with Birch Bay to the west and Lynden to the east. Photo taken 08/30/06.
Exit 270 departs Interstate 5 for Birch Bay-Lynden Road. Portal Way (former U.S. 99) intersects the east-west road nearby to provide access to the community of Custer to the southeast. Old U.S. 99 shadows Interstate 5 southward to Ferndale to the west. Photo taken 08/30/06.
Rest areas lie along both north and south Interstate 5 near the community of Custer. Photos taken 08/30/06.
Leaving the rest area facility, Interstate 5 continues 14 miles to Bellingham and 103 miles to Seattle. Photo taken 08/30/06.
Washington 548 returns to end at Interstate 5 via Grandview Road to the Exit 266 diamond interchange. The route began at Exit 276 adjacent to downtown Blaine. Photo taken 08/30/06.
Grandview Road carries Washington 548 west to Blaine Road near Birch Bay State Park. Blaine Road continues the state route north to Birch Bay and Blaine on its 13.85-mile path. Eastward, Grandview Road ends at a rural residential area at Dahlberg Road. Photo taken 08/30/06.
Exit 263 is the first of two interchanges between Interstate 5 and the city of Ferndale. Meeting the freeway in one mile is historic U.S. 99 (Portal Way) at a partial-cloverleaf interchange north of the city center. Photo taken 08/30/06.
Portal Way ties into the Ferndale street grid via 2nd Avenue just south of Interstate 5 Exit 263. 2nd and 3rd Avenues connect with Main Street at the city center. Main Street becomes Mountain View Road west to Mountain View and Lake Terrell. Photo taken 08/30/06.
Southward across the Nooksack River, Interstate 5 meets Main Street at the Exit 262 partial-cloverleaf interchange east of the Ferndale city center. Photo taken 08/30/06.
A pair of steel through truss bridges carries drivers across the Nooksack River along Interstate 5. The southbound span opened in 1971 as part of Interstate 5. The northbound bridge opened in 1955 as a part of U.S. 99 (Pacific Highway). Photos taken 08/30/06.
Main Street spans the Nooksack River and splits with Hovander Drive ahead of the interchange with Interstate 5. Axton Road continues the east-west road to Barrett Lake and Washington 539 near Laurel. Use Exit 262 for the city's historic attractions, a visitor information center and a WTA Park & Ride facility. Photo taken 08/30/06.
Continuing south from Exit 262, Interstate 5 gains frontage roads (Labountry Drive north / Barrett Road south) through to the Smith Road overpass. Photo taken 08/30/06.
Slater Road crosses paths with Interstate 5, one mile south of Smith Road. Old U.S. 99 (Pacific Highway) parallels the freeway to the east through to the Exit 260 diamond interchange. Photo taken 08/30/06.
Exit 260 departs Interstate 5 south for Slater Road. Slater Road ends to the east at Northwest Drive nearby. The rural highway continues west to Haxton Way south for the Lummi Indian Reservation and ferry to Lummi Island. Photo taken 08/30/06.
Approaching the city of Bellingham, speed limits lower to 60 mph along Interstate 5 south. Photo taken 08/30/06.
Interstate 5 flanks Bellingham International Airport (BLI) through northwestern reaches of Bellingham. Exit 258 provides access to the airport via Bakerview Road west to Airport Drive in one mile. Photo taken 08/30/06.
Exit 258 exists as a partial "Y" interchange for southbound Interstate 5 and a half-diamond interchange for northbound. Travelers departing the freeway here meet Bakerview Road at the beginning of Maplewood Avenue (former U.S. 99) south. Bakerview Road becomes Airport Drive at Bennett Drive nearby and leads east to Northwest Road and junction Washington 539 Meridian Road) near Whatcom Community College. Maplewood Avenue leads southeast to Northwest Avenue. Photo taken 08/30/06.
Interstate 5 turns eastward on the 1.50-mile approach to Exit 256, junction Washington 539 (Guide Meridian Road) north. Omitted from this mileage sign is the next of the seven Bellingham core exits, Exit 257 with Northwest Avenue. Photo taken 08/30/06.
Northwest Avenue continues Northwest Drive into Bellingham from Barrett Lake east of Ferndale. The avenue becomes a part of historic U.S. 99 from Maplewood Avenue to Elm Avenue in central Bellingham. Photo taken 08/30/06.
Washington 539 concludes its 15.16-mile route at Exit 256 with Interstate 5. The state route leads south from the border crossing north of Lynden with B.C. 13 to end as Meridian Street near Bellis Fair Mall. Meridian Street continues south to Cornwall Park and Broadway, two blocks east of historic U.S. 99 (Elm Street).
Washington 539 doubles as a truck route to Trans Canada 1 for interests south from Vancouver and Surrey to Interstate 5 and Seattle. Photo taken 08/30/06.
Next in line for Interstate 5 south is the Exit 255 partial-cloverleaf interchange with Washington 542 (Sunset Drive). Washington 542 begins at Interstate 5 and travels 9.98 miles east to Washington 9 at Nugents Corner west of the Nooksack Indian Reservation. Photo taken 08/30/06.
Exit 255 leaves Interstate 5 south for Washington 542 east and Sunset Drive west to Illinois Street, Broadway and Bellingham Bay. Washington 542 overall travels 57.23 miles between Bellingham and the Mount Baker Ski Area. Photo taken 08/30/06.
Interstate 5 cuts a swath through the residential street grid of Bellingham from Sunset Square mall at Exit 255 to a folded-diamond interchange (Exit 254) with Ohio Street, one block south of Iowa Street and two and a half blocks east of State Street. State Street provides the most direct route to downtown Bellingham. Iowa Street stems east from Exit 254 to Woburn Street opposite Whatcom Falls Park. Photo taken 08/30/06.
Drivers span Whatcom Creek southward ahead of the Exit 253 off-ramp to Lakeway Drive. Lakeway Drive stems east from Holly and Ellis Streets outside downtown to Interstate 5 and beyond to Whatcom Falls Park and the Lake Whatcom area. Exit 253 also serves interests to a visitors center and the Whatcom Museum. Photo taken 08/30/06.
Old U.S. 99 follows Samish Way south from Maple Street to a split diamond interchange with Interstate 5 (Exit 252). Samish Way continues south from Exit 252 to Happy Valley and east to Lake Padden. Bill McDonald Parkway stems west from old U.S. 99 nearby to Western Washington University. Photo taken 08/30/06.
The final Bellingham exit joins Interstate 5 with Washington 11 (Old Fairhaven Pakrway) at the Exit 250 diamond interchange near Happy Valley. Washington 11 begin its 21.28-mile route here. Photo taken 08/30/06.
Washington 11 travels west along Old Fairhaven Parkway to Chuckanut Drive (former U.S. 99 Alternate) south on its climb to Chuckanut Village and Larrabee State Park along Chuckanut Bay. Connelly Avenue ties into Exit 250 from 36th Street to the east. Interests to the Fairhaven Transportation Center should use Washington 11 south to Fairhaven via Donovan Avenue west, 10th Street north, and Harris Avenue west. Photo taken 08/30/06.
Interstate 5 winds eastward by Chuckanut Mountain on the 23-mile approach to Mount Vernon. Everett appears for the first time on an I-5 mileage sign at 56 miles out. Photo taken 08/30/06.
Traveling generally eastward, Interstate 5 straddles Chuckanut Mountain and Chuckanut Creek in these scenes north of Lake Padden. This stretch is the most mountainous within the state of Washington of I-5. Photos taken 08/30/06.
Samish Way leaves the Padden Lake area and meets Interstate 5 again at the Exit 246 folded-cloverleaf interchange opposite North Lake Samish Drive. Photo taken 08/30/06.
Interstate 5 lowers dramatically toward the Samish Way (Old U.S. 99) overpass and Exit 246 ramp to North Lake Samish Drive. Photo taken 08/30/06.
North Lake Samish Drive parallels Interstate 5 south to Lake Samish. It forms the northwest quadrant of a loop road encircling the lake. East Lake Samish Drive meets Interstate 5 at Exit 242. Photo taken 08/30/06.
Interstate 5 south and adjacent East Lake Samish Drive (former U.S. 99) travel between Lake Samish and adjacent Lookout Mountain in this scene. Photo taken 08/30/06.
Nulle Road connects Interstate 5 with East and West Lake Samish Drives northward to Lake Samish via Exit 242. Photo taken 08/30/06.
Nulle Road connects with Pacific Highway (old U.S. 99) to the east and Summerland Road north and Lake Samish Road south into Skagit County to the west from Exit 250. Photo taken 08/30/06.



Photo Credits:
2006-08-30 by AARoads

Page Updated 10-12-2010.

 
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