New Blaine pier, wave barrier officially open
A ribbon-cutting ceremony officially marked the opening of the new Blaine pier and wave barrier last Friday.
In the afternoon sun, members of the community, together with city of Blaine and Port of Bellingham officials, gathered at the wooden pier, which includes new picnic tables, turn-of-the-century style lampposts and hanging flower baskets.
The Port of Bellingham spent four years working on the project, which cost about $2 million. Approximately $1.7 million was funded from the Port�s capital improvement program, and $280,000 was made available through the interagency for outdoor recreation.
To finish the pier, the 60-year-old timber breakwater had to be removed and a new steel wave barrier structure had to be installed; about 1,000 tons of steel were used. The public use area has been expanded, and the overall pier was renovated. Much of the construction had to be scheduled around sensitive fish spawning times. More than 750 timber piles were removed, and replaced by 144 new steel piles.
The port invested about $12 million back in 1998 to expand Blaine Harbor. Eleven acres of mudflats were dredged within the harbor to allow for the addition of 300 new berths. The existing moorage was renovated and 700 feet of visitor moorage was created.
The facilities now include a new boating center with administrative offices, public facilities, community meeting room, upgraded parking areas and two new gatehouses with restroom facilities.