State cleans up city entrances

Published on Thu, Sep 20, 2001 by Christine Callan

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State cleans up city entrances

By Christine Callan

The Washington state department of transportation (DOT) is working to make coming and going from Blaine a more aesthetically pleasing experience. “They had been planning on doing it for a while, but they are stepping it up because of Blaine beautification projects,” Shirley Thorsteinson said. A landscaping project is currently underway for the city center exit ramp 276 northbound and southbound from I-5. “We are cleaning out all the weeds,” DoT chief inspector Jeff Peterson said. “We want to replace all the old dying stuff.”

“This is following onto the PACE lane renovation which was finished about a year ago,” said city assistant public works director Steve Banham. “Terry Galvin is working with the DoT so that the schemes are both attractive and low maintenance.”

The $311,345 project, funded 20 percent by the state and 80 percent from federal funds, includes preparing the soil and planting three canopy layers of new vegetation, said Todd Linn, office engineer for construction. Beauty bark has been laid and the planting phase of the project is scheduled to begin October 1. It will be completed by the end of the month.

Armstrong Maple, Shorepine, Douglas Fir, Bearberry Cotoneaster, Pfizer Juniper, Tall and Compact Oregon Grape, Snowberry and grass are a few of the native plants being utilized. “The border park was contacted to find out what plants are savvy,” Linn said, adding “and the city was contacted about what kind of trees to plant.” Once established, the landscape firm from Ferndale, Matia Contractors, will maintain the plants for three years and then it will be between the DoT, the city and the park to maintain them, Peterson said.

“As a result of this project getting off the ground,” Banham said, “a dialogue started between the city manager, the parks department and the DoT concerning who will maintain the vegetation and how we can best pool our resources to do what is best.”

Blaine and the border park made suggestions to the DoT.

“It is not included in this project, at this time,” Peterson responded when asked if a ‘Welcome to Blaine’ sign was part of the project.

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