County approves bid for Bay Road culvert project

Published on Wed, Jun 20, 2012 by Jeremy Schwartz

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A Blaine construction company has won a contract to replace a fish culvert in Birch Bay.

Whatcom County Council members voted 6-0, with council member Bill Knutzen absent, to approve a $416,789 contract with Colacurcio Brothers, Inc. at their June 19 meeting. The new culvert under Bay Road in east Birch Bay will allow spawning salmon to swim farther up California Creek.

Replacing the current 30-inch culvert with a 12-foot passage will involve replacing 100 feet of roadway and digging a 30-foot-deep hole. The work will require closing Bay Road for most of August. Traffic will be detoured south to Grandview Road via Valley View Road.

The county was awarded a $470,000 federal grant for the entire project that, with design and rights-of-way acquisition factored in, is expected to cost approximately $560,000. The remaining $90,000 will come from the county’s road fund.

The culvert replacement has been a priority for the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association for years.

The new culvert will open up nearly a mile of salmon spawning habitat in California Creek.