By Stefanie Donahue
Two marine-use storage facilities located west of Milhollin Drive, along Marine Drive, are set for repair thanks to Port of Bellingham commissioners, who unanimously voted to award a $509,000 contract to Seattle-based Cadence Construction Inc. on July 18.
The two storage facilities, which are referred to as webhouses 2 and 3, were constructed in the 1970s to house nets, crab pots and other fishing gear for the commercial fleet, said Blaine harbormaster Andy Peterson. While the facilities continue to serve their purpose, Peterson said he felt an upgrade has been a long time coming – and he wasn’t the only one.
“I think it’s super that we’re doing this,” said commissioner Dan Robbins. “It’s been an eyesore for a long time. I’m glad to see this finally come to fruition.” Port commissioner Bobby Briscoe added, “I’m glad to see this is happening. It’s really needing to be done for quite some time.”
The contract awarded to Cadence Construction Inc. combines multiple improvement projects for 2017 that are aimed at improving the webhouses. Altogether, webhouse 2 and 3 contain 40 storage units that commercial fishers are currently using to their full capacity, Peterson said.
“Every door you see on a webhouse is the door to someone’s job – you might not know it, but they’re there,” he said. “This is an opportunity to give the buildings a little bit of a facelift.”
The webhouses will bear a turn-of-the-century motif once the repairs are complete, said project engineer Jon Gibson.
“We wanted to find that balance between being durable in this rough environment under daily use with the fisherman, but also have some architectural appeal for the long-term presence
in the area,” he said.
Cadence Construction Inc. will repair and install new roofing to webhouse 2, which suffered serious damage from a recent wind storm. Webhouse 3 will get a new set of doors to replace those that are starting to rot away. Both webhouses will receive a fresh coat of paint to match the exterior of other nearby port facilities.
Repair is slated to begin in about three weeks and construction crews have 90 days to get it done. No tenants will be displaced during repair, Peterson said.