The historic floods in November 2021 did significant damage to our county road system. Roads were damaged throughout the county from flooding, erosion, and landslides. Whatcom County Public Works Engineering Division worked with partners to perform these emergency repairs to roads damaged last November.
Location: Birch Bay Lynden Road was closed just east of the intersection with Ham Road at California Creek.
Damage: The existing 12-foot culvert that carries California Creek under Birch Bay Lynden Road failed, washing out an entire 40-foot section of Birch Bay Lynden Road.
Action: RAM Construction installed two 10-foot diameter culverts and worked to remove the temporary stream diversion as well as build up the embankment around the pipes. Utility work to replace the waterline damaged when the road washed out was also coordinated.
Results: Work to repair this section of Birch Bay Lynden Road was completed in February 2022. Two 10-foot corrugated steel pipes were installed and the roadway was rebuilt.
Location: South Pass Road was closed approximately 0.1 miles east of North Pass Road.
Damage: Steady rainfall caused a landslide resulting in significant pavement damage.
Action: Tiger Construction installed geofoam blocks to stabilize the hillside. Crews also added drainage to better channel the water coming down the hillside.
Results: The full roadway reconstruction, including guardrail replacement and pavement striping, was completed in May 2022.
Location: Goshen Road was closed approximately 500 feet west of Roberts Road.
Damage: A steep slope along the north side of Goshen Road failed, resulting in significant damage to the adjacent 100-ft of roadway.
Action: A temporary repair design by GeoEngineers was completed in the short term, followed by additional slope damage repairs.
Results: Flood damage repair was completed in April 2022. The adjacent bridge is set to be replaced in 2024.
Location: Drayton Harbor Road was closed at the Shintaffer Road intersection.
Damage: The shoreline slope is eroding towards the beach. Much of the bank has been undercut from wave action. The undercutting in Drayton Harbor on the toe of the road fill, combined with heavy rains saturating the slope, initiated a slide failure.
Action: We are working with a geotechnical engineer to monitor the condition of the slope and determine the appropriate permanent repair.
Results: Reopened the week of December 17, 2021 to single-lane traffic at the Shintaffer Road intersection. We’re monitoring the roadway regularly and will keep it open as long as it is safe to do so. We will provide an update if we do need to close the road. The community should be prepared to use alternate routes if the road closes.
Location: North Fork Road was closed two miles north of Mosquito Lake Road
Damage: Water caused the slope to fail and claim a large section of the existing roadway.
Action: Our contractor stabilized the toe of the failure area with large rock.
Results: The road has been re-established close to its original location as a gravel road. Paving, installation of guardrail, and plant restoration are expected to take place in October 2022.
Location: Mosquito Lake Road was closed at the Porter Creek Bridge
Damage: A significant log jam developed during the flood event, extending approximately 150 feet upstream of the Mosquito Lake Road Porter Creek Bridge. Due to the severity of the log jam, Porter Creek jumped its banks and flowed across the roadway. This caused damage to the bridge approach and adjacent road.
Action: The log jam was removed and repairs were made to the bridge approach and roadway.
Results: Repaired and reopened on Thursday, December 9, 2021.
Location: Beach Avenue on Lummi Island
Damage: Approximately 250 feet of Beach Avenue experienced severe erosion of roadway shoulders, undercutting of asphalt travel lanes, and washout of the roadway’s structural base.
Action: Whatcom County maintenance crews made immediate roadway repairs to establish a temporary single lane with alternating one-way traffic, to restore limited access for emergency and service vehicles only. More repairs resulted in one lane re-opening to all traffic.
Results: Currently performing topographic survey and working with a geotechnical consultant to determine the appropriate permanent fix for the failure. Construction is expected in Spring 2024.
Location: Truck Road east of Deming.
Damage: Significant rainfall caused bank erosion.
Action: Whatcom County managed an emergency bank stabilization project to protect Truck Rd from damage due to North Fork Nooksack River erosion.
Results: The project was completed on March 10, 2022. Follow-up work to provide environmental mitigation and complete road rehabilitation is anticipated to be completed within two years.
Location: Sunset Avenue is closed between Pacific Highway and Gravelline Road.
Damage: Silver Creek washed away a portion of the roadway embankment causing a landslide and damage to the roadway.
Action: Sunset Avenue has been closed to traffic. Survey and geotechnical engineering efforts are underway to determine the appropriate permanent repair.
Results: Construction is expected in Spring 2024.
Location: Silver Lake Road was closed five miles north of Maple Falls.
Damage: A large landslide realigned Maple Creek over Silver Lake Road.
Action: The County worked with geotechnical engineers, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and adjacent property owners to determine short- and long-term repairs for this slide.
Results: Silver Lake Road reopened to two-lane traffic in December 2021. Some minor repairs remain, which should not have a significant impact on traffic