Washington State Route 546
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Washington State Route 546

State Route 546 marker

State Route 546
A map of northern Whatcom County with SR 546 highlighted in red
Route information
Auxiliary route of I-5
Defined by RCW 47.17.805
Maintained by WSDOT
Length8.02 mi[1] (12.91 km)
Major junctions
West end near Lynden
East end near Sumas
Highway system

State Route 546 (SR 546) is a state highway in Whatcom County, Washington, United States. It runs east-west for 8 miles (13 km) near the Canadian border, connecting SR 539 near Lynden to SR 9 near Nooksack and Sumas. The highway is a major freight corridor and serves as an alternate route between Bellingham and the Sumas border crossing.

The highway runs along Badger Road, which was built in 1890s and paved by the county government in 1922 per the request of citizen petitions. It was incorporated into the state highway system from 1937 to 1951 as part of Secondary State Highway 1A (SSH 1A), which connected to Blaine and Sedro-Woolley. The Lynden section was replaced with a southerly route and re-designated as a branch of SSH 1B in 1957. During the 1964 state highway renumbering, SR 546 replaced the SSH 1B branch, while the rest of the highway became SR 539. Between 2013 and 2016, the state government built a set of three roundabouts on SR 546 in northern Lynden to replace intersections that had been the site of major collisions.

Route description

Looking westbound on SR 546 from its eastern terminus with SR 9

SR 546 begins at an intersection with SR 539 and Badger Road northwest of Lynden, located about 2.7 miles (4.3 km) south of the Canadian border.[2] The highway travels east on Badger Road across the northern outskirts of Lynden and its residential neighborhoods, traversing a pair of roundabouts at Depot Road and Bender Road.[3] After passing more residential areas, a small industrial park, and a third roundabout at Northwood Road,[4][5] SR 546 leaves Lynden city limits and descends into the lower Nooksack Valley, a flat and rural area with views of Mount Baker.[3] The highway passes several farms and forested plots before it crosses over a branch railroad belonging to the BNSF Railway and reaches a junction with SR 9.[6] SR 546 terminates at the junction, located adjacent to the Nooksack Valley High School campus and approximately four miles (6.4 km) southwest of Sumas, and SR 9 continues east onto Badger Road on its way towards Sumas.[3][7]

SR 546 runs through Lynden and the outlying rural areas as a two-lane highway with a posted speed limit of 50 miles per hour (80 km/h).[8] The highway is designated as a major freight corridor and serves as an alternative route to the 24-hour Sumas border crossing from Interstate 5, which intersects SR 539 in Bellingham.[3][9] SR 546 is designated as a Highway of Statewide Significance and is listed as part of the National Highway System,[10][11] a network of roads identified as important to the national economy, defense, and mobility.[12] The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) estimates that approximately 5,500 to 9,700 vehicles use the highway on a daily basis, based on annual average daily traffic data. The busiest section is located between SR 539 and Depot Road in Lynden, carrying 9,000 to 9,700 vehicles per day in 2016.[3][13]


Badger Road was once part of the Blaine-Sumas Highway, a major county road that was built in the 1890s to connect towns in northern Whatcom County, including Lynden and Van Buren.[14] After a successful petition campaign by local residents,[15] the county government completed paving of the highway in 1922, costing an estimated $110,000 (equivalent to $1.34 million in 2019 dollars).[16][17][18] The road was added to the state highway system in 1937 as a section of Secondary State Highway 1A (SSH 1A). The state highway began in Blaine and traveled east to Lynden and Lawrence before turning south and running through Skagit and Snohomish counties along the foothills of the Cascade Mountains.[19][20]

The terminus of SSH 1A was moved to an intersection with SSH 1B the south side of the Nooksack River in 1951, leaving Badger Road out of the state highway system for several years.[21][22] Badger Road was re-added to the highway system in 1957 as a branch of SSH 1B, which ran north-south between Bellingham and the Canadian border.[23][24] During the 1964 state highway renumbering, the trunk of SSH 1B became SR 539, SSH 1A became SR 9, and the Lynden branch of SSH 1B became SR 546.[25] The renumbering was codified by the state legislature in 1970.[2]

In the 2000s, WSDOT began long-term planning for the SR 546 corridor, including determining replacements or retrofits for several intersections in northern Lynden that were the site of several major collisions in the early 2010s.[26] Two roundabouts, located one-half mile (0.8 km) apart at Depot Road and Bender Road, were constructed in 2013 using $5.6 million in federal border funding.[27][28] Construction of a third roundabout, located at Northwood Road, was completed in July 2016 and required road traffic to be restricted to alternating, one-way patterns.[4][29] The western terminus of SR 546 is planned to be converted into a multi-lane roundabout with SR 539 in the mid-to-late 2020s as part of the state government's plans for the Guide Meridian corridor.[30]

Major intersections

The entire highway is in Whatcom County.

Lynden0.000.00 (Guide Meridian Road) - Bellingham, Canadian CustomsWestern terminus
8.0212.91 - Sumas, EversonEastern terminus
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


  1. ^ a b Multimodal Planning Division (January 3, 2018). State Highway Log Planning Report 2017, SR 2 to SR 971 (PDF) (Report). Washington State Department of Transportation. pp. 1654-1655. Retrieved 2018.
  2. ^ a b "RCW 47.17.805: State route No. 546". Washington State Legislature. 1970. Retrieved 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Corridor Sketch Summary - SR 546/SR 9: SR 546/SR 539 Jct to SR 9 to Canadian Border" (PDF). Washington State Department of Transportation. March 26, 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  4. ^ a b Gallagher, Dave (July 7, 2016). "New roundabout being built on East Badger Road". The Bellingham Herald. Retrieved 2018.
  5. ^ "Chapter 8: North Lynden Sub-Area" (PDF). City of Lynden Comprehensive Plan (Report). City of Lynden. April 2005. p. 4. Retrieved 2018.
  6. ^ "Statewide Rail Capacity and System Needs Study: Task 1.1.A - Washington State's Freight Rail System" (PDF). Washington State Transportation Commission. May 2006. pp. 11-12. Retrieved 2018.
  7. ^ Google (September 13, 2018). "State Route 546" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 2018.
  8. ^ "Appendix A: Transportation Element" (PDF). City of Lynden Comprehensive Plan (Report). City of Lynden. September 2016. p. 14. Retrieved 2018.
  9. ^ 2017 Update of FMSIB Strategic Freight Corridors (PDF) (Map). Washington State Freight Mobility Strategic Investment Board. November 2017. Retrieved 2018.
  10. ^ "Transportation Commission List of Highways of Statewide Significance" (PDF). Washington State Transportation Commission. July 26, 2009. Retrieved 2018.
  11. ^ "State Highway National Highway System Routes in Washington" (PDF). Washington State Department of Transportation. 2017. Retrieved 2018.
  12. ^ "What is the National Highway System?". Federal Highway Administration. January 31, 2017. Retrieved 2018.
  13. ^ 2016 Annual Traffic Report (PDF) (Report). Washington State Department of Transportation. 2017. p. 212. Retrieved 2018.
  14. ^ Sumas Quadrangle, Washington (Whatcom County) (Topographic map). 1:62,500. United States Geological Survey. 1906. Retrieved 2018.
  15. ^ "Every Section Asks For Concrete Roads". Lynden Tribune. March 22, 1917. p. 1. Retrieved 2018 – via Newspapers.com.Free to read
  16. ^ "To Finish Paving Lynden-Sumas Road". Lynden Tribune. March 30, 1922. p. 1. Retrieved 2018 – via Newspapers.com.Free to read
  17. ^ Rand McNally Official 1925 Auto Trails Map of Washington and Oregon (Map). 1:1,077,120. Rand McNally. 1925. Retrieved 2018 – via David Rumsey Historical Map Collection.
  18. ^ Thomas, Ryland; Williamson, Samuel H. (2020). "What Was the U.S. GDP Then?". MeasuringWorth. Retrieved 2020. United States Gross Domestic Product deflator figures follow the Measuring Worth series.
  19. ^ "Chapter 207: Classification of Public Highways" (PDF). Session Laws of the State of Washington, 1937. Washington State Legislature. March 18, 1937. p. 994. Retrieved 2018.
  20. ^ Highways of the State of Washington (Map). Cartography by Rand McNally. Washington State Department of Highways. 1939. Retrieved 2018 – via Washington State Archives.
  21. ^ "Chapter 273: Establishing Primary and Secondary Highways" (PDF). Session Laws of the State of Washington, 1951. Washington State Legislature. March 20, 1951. p. 917. Retrieved 2018.
  22. ^ H. M. Gousha Company (1956). Highway Map of Washington (Map). 1 inch ? 18 miles. Shell Oil Company. Retrieved 2018 – via David Rumsey Historical Map Collection.
  23. ^ "Chapter 172: Highways" (PDF). Session Laws of the State of Washington, 1951. Washington State Legislature. March 21, 1957. p. 637. Retrieved 2018.
  24. ^ Lynden Quadrangle, Washington--Whatcom Co (Topographic map). 1:62,500. United States Geological Survey. 1954 [reprinted 1960]. Retrieved 2018.
  25. ^ C. G. Prahl (December 1, 1965). "Identification of State Highways" (PDF). Washington State Highway Commission. Retrieved 2018.
  26. ^ Paben, Jared (April 25, 2011). "Roundabouts planned for Badger Road at Depot, Bender roads". The Bellingham Herald.
  27. ^ "SR 546 - Depot Road and Bender Road - Intersection Improvements". Washington State Department of Transportation. October 2013. Archived from the original on October 2, 2013. Retrieved 2018.
  28. ^ Schwartz, Ralph (July 18, 2013). "Lynden's road projects come at height of fair and festival season". The Bellingham Herald.
  29. ^ "Work has started on new Badger Road roundabout". Lynden Tribune. July 12, 2016. Retrieved 2018.
  30. ^ Newcomb, Tim (May 5, 2016). "Guide to widen in Lynden". Lynden Tribune. Retrieved 2018.

External links

Route map:

KML is from Wikidata

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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