Blaine Public Works officials have sent a construction project set to improve the stretch of Marine Drive crossing the railroad tracks out to bid.
Contractors will have until June 6 to submit their bids for the Marine Drive Gateway Reconstruction project. The project will add an 8-foot sidewalk to the north of Marine Drive, a 6-foot sidewalk to the south and widen the road to 28 feet on both sides of the railroad crossing, just west of the Peace Portal Drive roundabout.
The city engineer estimates the project will cost between $250,000 and $500,000. The city has received a $468,000 state transportation grant that requires $52,000 in matching funds. The Port of Bellingham is chipping in $26,000, and the city of Blaine will be on the hook for the remaining money.
City public works officials expect the project to start after July 4 and take about a month to complete. During construction, one lane will be closed with flaggers on site to direct traffic.
The project was initially supposed to go out for bid in April and be finished by July 4, but concerns from the Blaine Planning Commission delayed the approval of a city permit necessary for the project.
Planning commissioners feared the original plans for the project, which called for 6-foot sidewalks on both the north and south sides of Marine Drive, would have limited bicyclist access to Marine Park.