Boblett light top road priority

Published on Thu, Jun 21, 2001 by Brendan Shriane

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Boblett light top road priority

By Brendan Shriane

Blaine’s top transportation priority for the next five years is putting a stoplight at the intersection of Boblett Road and state route 543, where a local high school student was seriously injured in an accident in April. “It’s because of the large number of accidents there. It’s a hazard,” assistant public works director Steve Banham said.

The city is having a public hearing to hear testimony on the list of transportation priorities at the next regular city council meeting June 25. The city council will use the public input to finalize the transportation plan, which is used by the state and county to decide how much money will be allocated to Blaine for road improvements. The city public works department will use the plan to support grant applications to fund high-ranking projects.

The city hopes by putting the project on the top of the city’s priorities the state Department of Transportation will go ahead with the $200,000 plan. The city would not have to provide any money, because it is part of a state highway.

The second highest-ranked proposal is a $1.6 million resurfacing program on Marine Drive. The city’s share would be about $210,000.

“Marine Drive, to me, is a key political domino in the whole lineup. A lot depends on that financially. I think that should be right up there,” council member Ken Ely said. “We’ve got a partnership with the port, the Millennium Trail, the park, across the way in Semiahmoo, the boardwalk – whatever we’re doing, Marine Drive ties into it. If we build what we’re going to build and have this clunky cart path down there it doesn’t show much partnership or initiative.”

The rest of the top seven priorities: a $1.1 million signalization and realignment of state route 548 at Bell Road that would cost the city almost $200,000, a $200,000 study on a proposed interchange at I-5 exit 274 of which the city will spend approximately $20,000, the $620,000 resurfacing of 6th Street, a $760,000 Cherry Street resurfacing project and $120,000 for the Harbor Loop bike path, which is part of the Millennium Trails project. Banham said there’s no money for that project at the current time. But, “if any monies do become available, it makes sense to have something in place.”

To come up with the list, Banham said he looked at concerns from many different groups – planning, public safety and schools. “What you have in that ranking is kind of an aggregate of all of them,” he said.

The public hearing on the transportation plan begins at 7 p.m. at Blaine city hall. Those wishing to make comments can either do so in person at that time or submit written comments to the city clerk. More information is available at the city’s public works department at 332-8820.

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