BELLINGHAM, Wash. -- The number of Canadian shoppers plummeted in parts of western Washington after the May collapse of an Interstate 5 bridge.
The Bellingham Herald reports that border policy researchers at Western Washington University have been observing the number of Canadian and U.S. vehicle license plates at various points along the I-5 corridor. The research began before the Skagit bridge collapse to get a better understanding of Canadian shopping activity in the region.
A license plate survey done in June after the bridge collapse found that the proportion of Canadian plates at a Costco in Marysville dropped by 80 percent compared to March. Five of the six retail areas that were surveyed south of the Skagit bridge saw a decrease of more than 40 percent.
David Davidson at the university's Border Policy Research Institute says the survey provides a snapshot on what happens when a key piece of transportation infrastructure is disrupted.