County agrees to an early start on road repairs
Whatcom County will start immediately on a menu of short-term solutions to traffic safety concerns at the intersection of Lincoln and Harborview roads, according to county executive Pete Kremen.
Change to drainage, road markings and possible illumination at the intersection were agreed to at an April 8 meeting with Blaine mayor John Liebert and city manager Gary Tomsic, Kremen said, starting with cutting back brush to improve visibility. “If it hasn’t happened already they’ll be doing it soon,” Kremen said. The next improvements will be to striping, and Kremen said crews will also be adding raised reflective markers and guideposts. “This will be a first priority of the striping crew on the seasonal beginning of the program in May,” he said. Later in the summer he said crews will modify drainage at the intersection, filling in the ditches to increase the turning radii. “Permitting is being sought for that now,” he said. “We’re also looking at options for illumination.”
In the long-term, Kremen acknowledged the need for significant road improvements on both Lincoln Road and Drayton Harbor Road, closed since the road started to wash out following heavy February rains. “I’m going to recommend to council that the Drayton Harbor Road reconstruction be funded in 2006,” he said. “That cost is about one million dollars.” He anticipated the work would start in spring 2006 and would be completed in that year.
Lincoln Road needed to move up the list of county transportation priorities, Kremen said, agreeing with a group of Semiahmoo residents who asked the city of Blaine to work with them in pushing for transportation improvements on county roads that link Blaine’s east and west halves. “The growth we’re seeing in the Birch Bay area is so significant, the priority for Lincoln Road needs to be moved up,” he said. “Fixing Lincoln is a high priority and should be. The problem is some of the things in front of it are too.” The reconstruction of Lincoln Road and its extension out to Blaine Road is number 23 of 66 on the county’s plan for road improvements from 2005 to 2010. Kremen said the extension of Lincoln to Blaine road was a $4 million project. “We’re hoping to have that done in 2008,” he said.