Few changes made to Blaine’s six-year transportation plan

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Blaine City Council approved an update to the city’s six-year transportation plan with few changes from last year’s update.

The plan, called the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), must be updated yearly to comply with state law. It serves as a planning document for the city and projects on the list are eligible for certain state and federal funds.

Several projects that are under construction or being designed are no longer on the list, Bullock said. Like last year, the highest priority project is a reconfiguration of the I-5 exit 274 interchange.

“That’s actually a DOT project, but it’s very important to the city,” said city assistant public works director Bill Bullock.

The plan includes about 20 projects, which is way more than the city will get to in the next six years, said city assistant public works director Bill Bullock. But having those projects on the TIP allows the city to chase funding for them if new grants become available, Bullock said.

“We’ll stick things on the plan that we want to be lined up for, even though they probably won’t be funded in the next six years unless some new pot of money becomes available,” Bullock said.

The current draft of the plan is online, but it will be updated with direction from city council. In response to public testimony, city council requested that a rehabilitation of the Semiahmoo Parkway multi-use path between Drayton Harbor Road and the Horizon at Semiahmoo development be added to the list. That portion of the parkway has suffered a lot of root damage in recent years, Bullock said.

Council also heard some comments about crumbling pavement on Sweet Road, but that falls under citywide pavement preservation, which is included in the updated plan.

“Those were the two pieces of public testimony that were really germane to this,” Bullock said.

The city also has a 20-year transportation plan that includes projects that aren’t yet necessary, but will be with predicted 20-year growth.

Though projects must be in the six-year TIP to qualify for state and federal funds, city staff can add new projects to the plan if new funding becomes available for something unanticipated, Bullock said.

Some of the projects on the 2017–2022 Transportation Improvenemt Program are:

• Interstate 5 exit 274 interchange

• Boblett Street signalization and State Route 543 improvements

• Peace Portal Community Trail – phase two Bayview Avenue to Hughes Avenue

• Peace Portal Drive downtown sidewalk reconstruction

  D Street improvements

• D Street/16th intersection realignment

• Peace Portal Drive sidewalk gap elimination

• Semiahmoo Parkway resurfacing

• Marine Drive Phase 3 – LPWRF to Public Pier

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