Nofix soon for Drayton Harbor Road

Published on Thu, Apr 14, 2005 by ack Kintner

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No fix soon for Drayton Harbor Road

By Jack Kintner

More traffic due to the Drayton Harbor Road closure, summer visitors and projected local growth is making Lincoln Road “an accident waiting to happen,” according to Mike McBride and other west Blaine residents. They want the county to make immediate safety improvements to the road and fast-track a major rebuild.
At the April 11 meeting of Blaine city council five Semiahmoo homeowners asked that the city join them in asking for county action on the road which, while outside city limits, connects east and west Blaine.

The county six-year transportation improvement program lists Lincoln Road as number 23 out of 66 road projects prioritized from 2005 to 2010. The plan is to rebuild the road and extend it to Blaine Road, with funding for planning and right-of-way acquisition scheduled for 2006 and 2007. Speakers at the meeting asked city council for official action requesting the project be given a higher priority. “We’re asking you to use your political influence with Whatcom County Council to at least start a dialogue,” said Ron Leach. “It all boils down to money and what we want is to get on the agenda.”

Semiahmoo Resort association president Rod McCallum said association members were increasingly concerned that with Drayton Harbor Road closed Lincoln Road would get more pressure, and that would translate to more accidents. In a March 28 letter to county executive Pete Kremen, McCallum expressed special concern about the intersection of Lincoln and Harborview roads, asking for at least some temporary safety improvements until the road can be rebuilt. “He does open the door for ideas, other solutions and temporary fixes,” McCallum said of Kremen’s April 7 response. Kremen wrote that “reflective guideposts” were going in at the intersection and culvert and ditch modifications were being designed.

McBride said more was needed at the intersection immediately, including lighting and re-striping of fog lines. Bob Orgonas added until the road was reconstructed the county should impose a 25 mile an hour speed limit. “In fog, heavy rain or ice that road is flat-out dangerous,” he said. “There’s no shoulder to recover. You’re in the ditch.” He suggested guard rails could be installed at the Harborview Road intersection.

City manager Gary Tomsic said the city staff had met with the county April 8 to discuss the roads linking east and west Blaine. “At the staff level there was very good support,” he said, particularly in light of a proposed road from Lincoln Road to Birch Point amid significant development anticipated in the area. “This road has to be dealt with in a fairly significant way.”

Council member Bruce Wolf put forward a resolution asking the county to make the reconstruction of Lincoln Road a higher priority and “get the intersection more than cosmetic fixes to make it safe.” It received unanimous support.

Wolf also said the city needed to stay on top of repairs to Drayton Harbor Road. “It’ll be more than a year,” he said. In his response to McCallum Kremen said a recently completed geologic engineering report allowed county engineers to choose a $1,000,000 slope stabilization and road repair solution. Due to the time necessary for permitting and the restrictions on shoreline construction the project would likely happen in summer 2006.