2010 In Review: City of Blaine & Public Works Department

Published on Thu, Jan 13, 2011 by By Gary Tomsic and Steve Banham

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2010 has been a memorable year. The highlight was the completion and dedication of the city’s new state of the art Lighthouse Point Water Reclamation Facility. This $30 million dollar project is the largest public works project in the history of Blaine and has been in the works since the year 2000. The treatment plant will provide for the needs of the city for many years.

Without a doubt, the most controversial project to take place in 2010 was the construction of the two roundabouts on Peace Portal Drive and D Street. Funded and constructed by WSDOT as part of the Peace Arch crossing project, the project generated considerable public interest and some direct opposition.

Once completed, the project has met with great support. As part of this project, parking along Peace Portal Drive was changed from parallel to angle parking. The angle parking project has met with unanimous support. The city also used the round-about project as an opportunity to get WSDOT to install on I-5, long-awaited food, gas and lodging signs that serve our businesses.
The city was able to start several important road projects including the reconstruction of B, Fourth and Ninth streets.

This $1.5 million project was funded with the city’s street improvement bond program. The paving of 2nd Street was funded as part of the GSA border project. The city also started the long awaited improvements to H Street, from Ludwick Avenue to Vista Terrace.

This $1.7 million project was funded with a $500,000 grant and city street improvement bond funds. It will be finished in 2011. The Boblett Street connector was completed in March. This projected extended Boblett across the airport property and will service business and industry which will locate at the airport site. The project was primarily funded using federal stimulus money.

In the electric utility department, the city partnered with Puget Sound Energy (PSE) to construct a new Semiahmoo substation and a connecting distribution feeder. This second substation will greatly improve system reliability. It also provides needed redundancy for the new water reclamation facility.

In the water utility department, the city in cooperation with Birch Bay Water and Sewer District, successfully obtained four new water right permits for an additional 2,250 gallons per minute of groundwater, which will provide for future needs of the city.

The city, in partnership with the Northwest Parks and Recreation District, built a kayak launch on Runge Avenue. Two new picnic-bird watching shelters were constructed in Marine Park, and the skate park was rehabilitated with new structures.

Despite a severe economic recession, 2010 was a very productive year, and 2011 will also have a number of excellent community projects. Thanks to our citizens for their support.