Pedestrianbridge approved by council

Published on Thu, May 18, 2006 by eg Olson

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Pedestrian bridge approved by council

By Meg Olson

Blaine has amended a contract with an architectural group for the boardwalk project to include a concept and scoping estimate for a pedestrian bridge connecting the downtown to the marina area.
Approved unanimously by city council May 8, the contract amendment asks Carletti Architects to design the bridge that would span the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad in alignment with H Street.

The contract includes surveying, preliminary engineering, schematics and cost estimates for the new facility.

Funding for the design work comes in part from a Port of Bellingham grant for $15,000, which the city will match with $5,000 in local funding.

Dodd Snodgrass, economic development specialist for the port, said the funds came from their small cities fund for economic development, created in 2004 to partner with the county’s smaller communities on projects to boost local economies.

“This is a priority for Blaine, part of their downtown revitalization, and also, with the connection to the port property, has an added plus,” he said.

Blaine public works director Steve Banham said current construction of the two ends of the boardwalk at H and G streets was the first phase of the project and the bridge is phase three.

Phase two is the connection between the two ends on the water side of existing Peace Portal Drive properties, he said.

“We ended up putting that on hold while the easements get dealt with,” Banham said. “We may want to rethink things and do it differently working with the property owners if someone wants to provide a link right up front.”

With the second phase on hold Banham said the pedestrian overpass could end up being built first.

“If we find a funding partner willing to do the bridge before the easements are taken care of, we’ll do it,” he said.

The current design and scoping work will provide the city with the information it needs to apply for construction grants.