Public pier opens Friday

Published on Thu, May 1, 2003
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Public pier opens Friday

The Port of Bellingham invites the community to join it in celebrating the completion of the new Blaine Harbor wave barrier and improved Blaine public pier at 2 p.m., Friday, May 2. The brief dedication ceremony will include a bagpiper and refreshments.

This port project involved the removal of the failing 60-year-old timber breakwater and installation of a new steel wave barrier structure. In addition the public pier was renovated and the public use area was expanded. The pier now includes new antique-style lighting, picnic tables and benches.

The $2 million plus construction project took place from July until December and had to be scheduled around sensitive fish spawning times. About 780 timber piles were removed and 144 new steel piles were installed. About 1,000 tons of steel were used for this project.

Approximately 15 percent of the project, or $280,000, was funded through the Interagency for Outdoor Recreation Grant. The balance, approximately $1.7 million, was funded from the Port�s capital improvement program.

The project has been four years in the design, permitting, grant acquisition and construction stages. During construction, special arrangements were made to make sure the entrance to Blaine Harbor remained open throughout the project.

In 1998, the port invested about $12 million in an expansion of Blaine Harbor that involved dredging 11 acres of mudflats within the Blaine Harbor breakwater to allow for the addition of 300 new berths and the complete renovation of existing moorage, creation of 700 feet of visitor moorage, a new boating center with administrative offices, public facilities, community meeting room, upgraded parking areas and two new gatehouses with restroom facilities.

Today Blaine Harbor has nearly 650 state-of-the-art boat slips for commercial and pleasure boats. The harbor currently has permanent moorage available as well as more than 700 feet of visitor moorage.

The marina includes turn-of-the-century style lampposts, hanging flower baskets, beautiful landscaping and waterfront trails leading into historic downtown Blaine.

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