Expect Heavy Traffic around Civic Stadium on Commencement Day June 11

Bellingham and university police will assist with traffic control around Civic Stadium June 11 as Western Washington University’s two Spring Commencement ceremonies will draw thousands of people to the area.

The ceremonies will take place at 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. at Civic while Western’s typical Commencement venue, Carver Academic Building, is in the midst of a major renovation.

The two Commencement ceremonies will be larger than events that are typically held at Civic Stadium, whose bleachers hold about 3,840 people.

Each ceremony is expected to draw about 5,000 graduates, faculty members and guests. The stadium’s bleachers will be full and an additional 1,200 people will sit in seats on the field.

The heaviest traffic is expected to take place from 7:30 to 9 a.m., 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and from 4 to 5 p.m.

Officers from the Bellingham and Western police departments will assist with traffic control at 11 locations throughout the area, primarily along Lakeway Drive and Lincoln, Puget and Fraser streets. Orleans Street will be closed to all traffic except for parking shuttles.

Neighbors in the Puget area may also experience heavy traffic and street parking.

In order to relieve traffic congestion, and because the parking lot at Civic Stadium won’t accommodate all the cars expected at the events, guests are asked to park first in the Lincoln Creek Park and Ride lot on Lincoln Street. Four shuttles, including two that can accommodate wheelchairs, will take guests and graduates to and from Civic from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. or until there is no demand.

A Washington State Department of Transportation reader board on northbound Interstate 5 will direct WWU Commencement guests to exit at Exit 252, just south of the Lincoln Creek lot.

A week before Commencement, a reader board will be in place on Lakeway Drive alerting drivers to the June 11 event and encouraging them to plan accordingly.

For more information about Western’s Commencement, click on the Registrar’s Commencement page or “WWU Spring Quarter Commencement Set for June 11 at Civic Stadium.”

Wednesday, May 25, 2016 - 11:35am