Port solicits input on Sawtooth repair

By Stefanie Donahue

Last week, nearly a dozen people involved in the local fishing industry offered their input on a multi-phase project to repair Sawtooth Dock, located in Blaine Harbor.

The Port of Bellingham held the special meeting at the Blaine Harbor office on May 3. Representatives from the Working Waterfront Coalition, Commercial Fishermen’s Association of Whatcom County as well as Blaine Harbor upland tenants, Port of Bellingham staff and others were in attendance.

In March 2016, Port of Bellingham commissioners voted to allocate $285,000 for structural repairs on the dock, which included replacement of broken and rotten materials. Since then, the Port has allocated an estimated $900,000 in total to cover up to the second phase of the project, said port manager of marinas Alan Birdsall.

Phase one reopened some portions of the dock that were previously unusable while phase two is expected to open the remaining portions, hopefully as soon as November, he said. Phase three changes will address what users need and will include the addition of new amenities to the dock.

Those present at the meeting discussed the needs of the industry and bounced around ideas about the configuration of the dock, heavy lifting capacity and net accessibility, among other things, Birdsall said.

Eventually, the port will compile a report based on the discussion to present in future planning and budgeting meetings.

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