By Richard Sturgill
The Port of Bellingham and the city of Blaine are in the process of developing the Blaine wharf district master plan.
According to port planner Sylvia Goodwin, one of the reasons the port and city is considering closing off the western end of Marine Drive and the pier is because of “cost and safety.”
Public comment is an essential component of the development of this plan and I would like to chime in with a few ideas that could be cost effective measures that might perhaps keep costs down, provide increased safety and improve the esthetics on Marine Drive.
One day recently I was bicycle riding on the Fraser River dike bike/ped trail and noticed it was almost identical to the look and feel of the western part of Marine Drive.
The only difference really was that there were bollards to separate traffic from the bike riders and pedestrians, a hard smooth gravel trail surface on which to walk or bike efficiently and the treatment of raised rip/rap as a safety barrier to the slope.
Further on I ventured past a marina much like the Blaine Harbor Marina and noticed the use of steel sheet piles to shore up the fill next to the water was the same type that was recently used on Marine Drive.
Some consider the structural integrity of the wooden bulkhead on the south side of Marine Drive to be an issue. The city has perhaps hundreds of feet of these sheet piles at the former Semiahmoo waste water treatment plant construction site.
These piles could be used to shore up the wooden bulkhead on Marine Drive. Their value may perhaps be used as leverage in any future grant funding.
Your comments and ideas are welcome and important to this process. Please bring them with you to the public meeting at 7 p.m. next Wednesday, February 7 at the Blaine boating center in Blaine harbor.