New sidewalk at Peace Arch links two parks, two nations

Peace Arch State Park staff, with the help of local, state, national and international partners, has added 413 feet of sidewalk alongside Interstate 5 from the border to the U.S. Customs Building. As sunny weather comes back around, pedestrians will enjoy a safer walk between Washington and British Columbia and from the park’s parking lot to the famous arch.

Peace Arch straddles the U.S.- Canada border and is jointly managed by Washington State Parks and B.C. Provincial Parks. A brick sidewalk already stretched from the Canadian Customs building to the border, running along Interstate 5 and parallel to the Peace Arch monument.

On the Washington side, Ranger Jason Snow spearheaded the 10-year project, but his staff had tremendous support from Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), General Services Administration, the Whatcom Council of Governments, the International Boundary Commission (in Washington D.C.), the cities of Blaine and Surrey, Canadian Border Services Administration and U.S. Customs, to name a few partners.  

The project required 80-plus trips through U.S. customs with truckloads of dirt, gravel and sand. WSDOT arranged for flaggers, signage and Interstate 5 lane closures as park staff, including staff from neighboring Birch Bay State Park, constructed the walkway.

  1. 1
  2. 2

Funded largely by the State Parks Clean, Green and be Seen program, the project cost less than $35,000 and was completed between May, 2018 and March, 2019.

I’m very proud of it,” said Snow. “It removes a significant safety hazard, because people don’t have to walk on the shoulder of I-5 to get to the park anymore.”

He also says the “red brick road” is not just a sidewalk.

“It’s international,” he said. “It’s uniting. It’s a big deal.”