By Steve Guntli
The city of Blaine and the Port of Bellingham will give the public a chance to weigh in on the future of the road leading to the Blaine pier.
On Tuesday, January 19, the city and port will hold a public meeting to present the new design for the pier road at the end of Marine Drive and field questions from the public.
The pier road has been in disrepair since the mid 1990s, but was finally closed to vehicle traffic after heavy machinery installing pilings revealed serious structural flaws. Pedestrians can still access the pier on foot.
The port and Blaine’s public works department had previously entered into an interlocal agreement to fix the pier in 2015 and hired the design firm Reid Middleton to come up with some alternative designs. The city will be presenting three of these for feedback on Tuesday.
The choices under consideration range from building a two-lane road, a one-lane road or just a pedestrian and bike path. The option chosen will determine whether the harbor bulkhead will need to be repaired or replaced. The latter will certainly be required if vehicle access to the pier is chosen.
The meeting will be conducted like an open house. City and port staff will answer questions about the future of the pier road and give a rough timeline for the project and provide some cost estimates.
Rebuilding the pier road has been a complicated process, as the city and the port have disagreed on which government entity is responsible for the repairs. The road is owned by the city.
The meeting will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at Blaine City Hall. The proposed designs can also be viewed online at cityofblaine.com and portofbellingham.com. Display boards illustrating the options will also be set up at the Blaine Harbor office, Blaine Community Center and city hall.