County council approves funds for Birch Point drainage improvements

Published on Wed, Aug 10, 2011 by Jeremy Schwartz

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Relief from long-standing flooding and drainage issues is within sight for the residents of the Charel Terrace area of Birch Point after a Whatcom County Council vote this week.

The county council, acting as the Whatcom County Flood Control Zone District Board of Supervisors, unanimously approved a change in the contract that will pay for stormwater system improvements along Charel Drive and Carey Lane west of Semiahmoo Drive.

The approximately $336,000 project will replace most of the area’s aging stormwater pipes and construct specialized drainage ditches called bioswales along some of the areas’ roads.

The county council originally approved the contract with Lynden-based Len Honcoop Gravel, Inc., at the end of July. The contract change pushed the price down by about $84,000 after the construction company’s bid came in well under the county engineer’s estimate.

The improved stormwater system is designed to have more capacity than will likely be needed in the near future, county stormwater engineer Kraig Olason said.

The combination of new pipe and bioswales will be able to handle the amount of stormwater that would flow through the area if the stormwater retention pond across Semiahmoo Drive from the development were not there.

Construction is slated to start some time in August and wrap up by mid-October, Olason said. For more information on the project, contact Olason at 360/715-7450 or kolason@co.whatcom.wa.us.