News Flash

Public Works - Road Closures and Restrictions

Posted on: January 14, 2022

Update on Roads Damaged in the November Floods

For the week of Friday, Jan. 14, 2022

Birch Bay Lynden Road - Closed just east of intersection with Ham Road at California Creek.

  • Damage: During the Veteran’s Day storm event the existing 12-foot culvert which carries California Creek under Birch Bay Lynden Road failed, washing out an entire 40-foot section of Birch Bay Lynden Road.
  • Repairs/Status: The stream diversion portion of the project is finished. We need the weather to cooperate so we can work to get the in-stream portion of the job completed. The water has remained high because of our recent rain storms. Coordination with affected utilities is ongoing. We expect emergency repairs to finish by mid-late January.
  • Additional Repairs Needed: Permanent repairs including design, permitting, and ROW will follow at a later date. 

South Pass Road - Closed approximately 0.1 miles east of North Pass Road.  

  • Damage: This area is still an active landslide. The slope continues to move, and the area is being monitored on a regular basis. 
  • Repairs/Status: We have awarded an emergency contract to Tiger Construction Ltd, for the repair of S. Pass Rd. and began work earlier this week.  Approximately 1000 cubic yards of gravel embankment will be replaced with the same volume of lightweight “geofoam” to help stop the slide from slumping further.  The top 3 feet of the roadway will be reconstructed with crushed rock and reinforced with plastic geogrids.  Once reconstructed, the roadway will be opened to one-lane travel with either stop control or signal at each end.  The area will be monitored over the winter for further settlement.   We will pave the roadway and open the lane to two-way traffic once we confirm that settlement has subsided.
  • Additional Repairs Needed: Whatcom County will continue to coordinate with geotechnical engineering consultants to determine what the best solution is for a permanent repair to the roadway and embankment.

North Fork Road - We ask that the public continue to avoid using the gravel road that has been put in place. Paving won’t happen until spring. In the meantime, residents can use the gravel road to access their property. Use caution when driving on the gravel road and maintain a safe, slow speed. 

  • Damage: The failed slope has claimed a large section of existing roadway.
  • Repairs/Status: We ask that the public continue to avoid this section of roadway and keep access for residents only.  
  • Additional Repairs Needed: Will be determined at a later date. 

Goshen Road - Closed approximately 500-feet west of Roberts Road. No change from previous week. 

  • Damage: A steep slope along the north side of Goshen Road failed. There was significant damage to the adjacent 100-ft of roadway. 
  • Repairs/Status: The County is working with a geotechnical engineer to prepare plans for a temporary slope repair. We expect the emergency slope repairs to be completed, and the road reopened for public access, by late January or early February.
  • Additional Repairs Needed: to be determined.

Drayton Harbor Road - Drayton Harbor Road, immediately west of Shintaffer Road, is continuing to erode due to heavy precipitation combined with high tide events.  A single lane of the road reopened the week of Dec. 17 with a stop sign at both ends. We’re monitoring the roadway daily 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.  

Mosquito Lake Road - Repaired and reopened on Thursday, Dec. 9.

Beach Avenue / Lummi Island - Reopened to emergency and service vehicles. We are developing a permanent roadway repair plan for construction at a future date.

Past Updates

For the week of Friday, Jan. 7, 2022

Birch Bay Lynden Road - Closed just east of intersection with Ham Road at California Creek.

  • Damage: During the Veteran’s Day storm event the existing 12-foot culvert which carries California Creek under Birch Bay Lynden Road failed, washing out an entire 40-foot section of Birch Bay Lynden Road.
  • Repairs/Status: The stream diversion portion of the project is finished. We need the weather to cooperate so we can work to get the in-stream portion of the job completed. Coordination with affected utilities is ongoing. We expect emergency repairs to finish by mid-late January.
  • Additional Repairs Needed: Permanent repairs including design, permitting, and ROW will follow at a later date. 

South Pass Road - Closed approximately 0.1 miles east of North Pass Road.  

  • Damage: This area is still an active landslide. The slope continues to move, and the area is being monitored on a regular basis. 
  • Repairs/Status: We are working with geotechnical engineers on a way to safely reopen this section of South Pass as a single lane of roadway as soon as safely possible. Bad weather has hampered our ability to start the work. We hope to begin late next week (Jan. 10-14). The idea is to open a single lane for alternating traffic as an interim step, and then reopen both lanes at a later date. 
  • Additional Repairs Needed: Whatcom County will continue to coordinate with geotechnical engineering consultants to determine what the best solution is for a permanent repair to the roadway and embankment.

North Fork Road - We ask that the public continue to avoid this section of roadway and keep access for residents only. 

  • Damage: The failed slope has claimed a large section of existing roadway.
  • Repairs/Status: We ask that the public continue to avoid this section of roadway and keep access for residents only.  
  • Additional Repairs Needed: Will be determined at a later date. 

Goshen Road - Closed approximately 500-feet west of Roberts Road.

  • Damage: A steep slope along the north side of Goshen Road failed. There was significant damage to the adjacent 100-ft of roadway. 
  • Repairs/Status: The County is working with a geotechnical engineer to prepare plans for a temporary slope repair. We expect the emergency slope repairs to be completed, and the road reopened for public access, by late January or early February.
  • Additional Repairs Needed: to be determined.

Drayton Harbor Road - Drayton Harbor Road, immediately west of Shintaffer Road, is continuing to erode due to heavy precipitation combined with high tide events.  A single lane of the road reopened the week of Dec. 17 with a stop sign at both ends. However, as Whatcom County continues to examine this  area, it is likely that this road will need to be closed due to the impacts that the erosion has had on the road and the increased instability. The community should be prepared to use alternate routes. We ask that travelers respect all closure signs. 

Mosquito Lake Road - Repaired and reopened on Thursday, Dec. 9.

Beach Avenue / Lummi Island - Reopened to emergency and service vehicles. We are developing a permanent roadway repair plan for construction at a future date.

For the week of Friday, Dec. 24, 2021

We are sending our flood-damaged road repair update on Wednesday instead of the usual Friday this week. Our offices are closed on Thursday and Friday for holiday observance. With snow in the forecast for this weekend, our snow removal crews will be standing by for plowing and sanding work if needed. 

Silver Lake Road

Reopened to two lane traffic. Some minor repairs remain, which should not have a significant impact on traffic. A big thanks to everyone, including local residents, for your patience during this closure

Birch Bay Lynden Road

BBL repair update 12.22.2021

Contractors prepare a temporary stream diversion so pipe can be put in when conditions are right.

Birch Bay Lynden Road - Closed just east of intersection with Ham Road at California Creek.

  • Damage: During the Veteran’s Day storm event the existing 12-foot culvert which carries California Creek under Birch Bay Lynden Road failed, washing out an entire 40-foot section of Birch Bay Lynden Road.
  • Repairs/Status: Pipe sections continue to be delivered to the site for our emergency repair. The contractor has removed the washed out roadway asphalt from the creek and started pulling back the slopes. The contractor is also preparing a temporary stream diversion so the pipe can be put in when conditions are right. We have to wait for a weather window/lower stream flows before putting the pipe in. Coordination with affected utilities is ongoing. We expect emergency repairs to finish by mid-late January.
  • Additional Repairs Needed: Permanent repairs including design, permitting, and ROW will follow at a later date. 

South Pass Road

S. Pass Rd repair update 12-20-21

This is still an active landslide. When it is safe to do so, we hope to reopen this section of South Pass as a single lane with alternating traffic as an interim step. 

South Pass Road - Closed approximately 0.1 miles east of North Pass Road.  

  • Damage: This area is still an active landslide. The slope continues to move, and the area is being monitored on a regular basis. 
  • Repairs/Status: We are working with geotechnical engineers on a way to safely reopen this section of South Pass as a single lane of roadway as soon as safely possible. The idea is to open a single lane for alternating traffic as an interim step, and then reopen both lanes at a later date. 
  • Additional Repairs Needed: Whatcom County will continue to coordinate with geotechnical engineering consultants to determine what the best solution is for a permanent repair to the roadway and embankment.

North Fork Road

N Fork repair update 12.21.2021

Work continues on North Fork Road.

North Fork Road - Closed to the public 2 miles north of Mosquito Lake Road, open to private access for local residents only. No change from previous week.

  • Damage: The failed slope has claimed a large section of existing roadway.
  • Repairs/Status: Stabilization work is underway. We hope to reopen the road in early January. 
  • Additional Repairs Needed: Will be determined at a later date. 

Goshen Road 

Closed approximately 500-feet west of Roberts Road. No update from previous week. 

  • Damage: A steep slope along the north side of Goshen Road failed. There was significant damage to the adjacent 100-ft of roadway. 
  • Repairs/Status: The County is working with a geotechnical engineer to prepare plans for a temporary slope repair. We expect the emergency slope repairs to be completed, and the road reopened for public access, by late January 2022.
  • Additional Repairs Needed: to be determined.

Drayton Harbor Road

Reopened the week of Dec. 17 to single lane traffic at the Shintaffer Road intersection.

Mosquito Lake Road

Repaired and reopened on Thursday, Dec. 9.

Beach Avenue / Lummi Island

Reopened to emergency and service vehicles. We are developing a permanent roadway repair plan for construction at a future date.

For the week of Friday, Dec. 17. 

Whatcom County Public Works continues repair work on roads damaged during the November 2021 storms. Here is a roundup of our repair projects.

Drayton Harbor Road 

Reopened this week to single lane traffic at the Shintaffer Road intersection. 

  • Damage: 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. 
  • Repairs/Status: The road has been reopened to single lane traffic. We are working with a geotechnical engineer to monitor the condition and safety of the slope. 
  • Additional Repairs Needed: Final repairs will be made at a later date. This road is a lower priority for final repairs because traffic volumes are lower than on other damaged roads.

Silver Lake Road 

Closed 5 miles north of Maple Falls. 

  • Damage: During the Nov. 14-15 storm event, a large slide realigned Maple Creek over Silver Lake Road about five miles north of Maple Falls. 
  • Repairs/Status: Whatcom County Maintenance crews made good progress in repairs this week (Dec. 13-17). We hope to reopen the road early next week (Dec. 20-22). Until repairs are completed, we ask that you continue to use alternate routes and stay clear of the area unless you are a local resident. 
  • Additional Repairs Needed: The County is working with geotechnical engineers, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and adjacent property owners to determine short- and long-term repairs for this slide. Discussions are being expedited to resolve the water issues and open Silver Lake Road as soon as possible.

North Fork Road 

Closed to the public 2 miles north of Mosquito Lake Road, open to private access for local residents only. 

Birch Bay Lynden Road repairs 12.16.2021_2Stabilization work is underway on North Fork Road. We hope to reopen the road in early January. 

  • Damage: The failed slope has claimed a large section of existing roadway.
  • Repairs/Status: Stabilization work is underway. We hope to reopen the road in early January. 
  • Additional Repairs Needed: Will be determined at a later date. 

Birch Bay Lynden Road 

Closed just east of intersection with Ham Road at California Creek

Birch Bay Lynden Road Repairs 12.16.2021_2

Culvert pipe has been manufactured and is being delivered for Birch Bay Lynden Road repairs. 

Birch Bay Lynden Road Repairs 12.16.2021
A contractor is under contract and starting work at the site.

  • Damage: During the Veteran’s Day storm event the existing 12-foot culvert which carries California Creek under Birch Bay Lynden Road failed, washing out an entire 40-foot section of Birch Bay Lynden Road.
  • Repairs/Status: 
    • Permits have been issued for the emergency culvert replacement
    • Culvert pipe has been manufactured and is being delivered
    • A contractor is under contract and starting work on site
    • Coordination with affected utilities is ongoing
    • Emergency work is anticipated to be finished by mid-late January.
  • Additional Repairs Needed: Permanent repairs including design, permitting, and ROW will follow at a later date. 

South Pass Road

Closed approximately 0.1 miles east of North Pass Road. 

N Fork repairs 12.16.2021

South Pass Road is still an active landslide area. The slope continues to move, and the area is being monitored on a regular basis. 

South Pass Road Slide Dec. 7 2021

  • Damage: This area is still considered an active landslide. The slope continues to move, and the area is being monitored on a regular basis. 
  • Repairs/Status: We are consulting with geotechnical engineers to determine if a temporary repair can be made to the roadway to allow one lane of travel with a temporary traffic signal control. The road will remain closed until a determination is made on the feasibility of such a repair and the area is no longer considered an active slide. The public should stay out of the closure area. 
  • Additional Repairs Needed: Whatcom County will continue to coordinate with geotechnical engineering consultants to determine what the best solution is for a permanent repair to the roadway and embankment. 

Goshen Road

Closed approximately 500-feet west of Roberts Road. 

  • Damage: A steep slope along the north side of Goshen Road failed. There was significant damage to the adjacent 100-ft of roadway. 
  • Repairs/Status: The County is working with a geotechnical engineer to prepare plans for a temporary slope repair. We expect the emergency slope repairs to be completed, and the road reopened for public access, by late January 2022.
  • Additional Repairs Needed: to be determined.

Beach Avenue / Lummi Island

Reopened to emergency and service vehicles.

  • Damage: Severe erosion of roadway shoulders, undercutting of asphalt travel lanes, and washout of roadway’s structural base.
  • Repairs/Status: Whatcom County maintenance crews have completed roadway repairs to establish a temporary single lane with alternating one-way traffic, to restore limited access for emergency and service vehicles.  Local residents and passenger vehicles are encouraged to continue using Berry Way/Aiston Creek Road (both private roads) to access their private residences south of the flood damaged section of Beach Ave.
  • Additional Repairs Needed: We are developing a permanent roadway repair plan for construction at a future date.

Mosquito Lake Road

Repaired and reopened on Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021.

Past Updates

For the week of Friday, Dec. 10, 2021

Roads


Birch bay lynden Rd Failure_1Birch Bay Lynden Road at California Creek. Photo shows the guardrail hanging in the air. Photo taken Dec. 3, 2021.


Birch Bay Lynden Road – Closed just east of intersection with Ham Road

  • Damage: During the Veteran’s Day storm event the existing 12-foot culvert which carries California Creek under Birch Bay Lynden Road failed, washing out an entire 40-foot section of Birch Bay Lynden Road.

  • Repairs/Status: We have begun design work and coordination with affected utilities and the Department of Fish & Wildlife to complete an emergency culvert replacement project, and to get a contractor to perform this work. Emergency work should be finished by late December 2021/early January 2022.

  • Additional Repairs Needed: Permanent repairs will follow at a later date. 


The repaired Mosquito Lake Road bridge approach. Photo taken Dec. 10, 2021

Mosquito Lake Road – Repaired and reopened on Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021. Thank you for your patience while this work was completed.


South Pass slide at N. Pass Rd. 12.6.2021South Pass Road is still considered an active landslide area. Photo taken Monday, Dec. 6, 2021.


South Pass Road – Closed approximately 0.1 miles east of North Pass Road. 

  • Damage: This area is still considered an active landslide. The slope has continued to gradually move over the last couple of weeks, and the area is being monitored on a regular basis. 

  • Repairs/Status: We are consulting with geotechnical engineers to determine if a temporary repair can be made to the roadway to allow one lane of travel with a temporary traffic signal control. The road will remain closed until a determination is made on the feasibility of such a repair and the area is no longer considered an active slide. The public should stay out of the closure area. 

  • Additional Repairs Needed: Whatcom County will continue to coordinate with geotechnical engineering consultants to determine what the best solution is for a permanent repair to the roadway and embankment. 


Goshen 3_12.10.2021Slope failure on Goshen Road. Photo taken Dec. 10, 2021.


Goshen Road – Closed approximately 500-feet west of Roberts Road. 

  • Damage: A steep slope along the north side of Goshen Road failed. There was significant damage to the adjacent 100-ft of roadway. 

  • Repairs/Status: We are working with a geotechnical engineer to prepare plans for a temporary slope repair. We expect the emergency slope repairs to be completed, and the road reopened for public access, by late January 2022.

  • Additional Repairs Needed: to be determined.


Drayton resized

Photo of the slide on Drayton Harbor Road. Photo taken on Dec. 3, 2021.


Drayton Harbor Road – Closed at the Shintaffer Road intersection. 

  • Damage: 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. 

  • Repairs/Status: We are working with a geotechnical engineer to examine the condition and safety of the slope. 

  • Repairs/Status: We hope to open the road to single lane traffic as soon as safety and slope stability permit. 

  • Additional Repairs Needed: Final repairs will be made at a later date. This road is a lower priority for final repairs because traffic volumes are lower than on other damaged roads. 


Beach Road Temp svc lane

A single lane of Beach Avenue has been reopened for emergency and service vehicles. Photo taken Dec. 8, 2021.


Beach Avenue / Lummi Island – Reopened to emergency and service vehicles.

  • Damage: Severe erosion of roadway shoulders, undercutting of asphalt travel lanes, and washout of roadway’s structural base.

  • Repairs/Status: Whatcom County maintenance crews have completed roadway repairs to establish a temporary single lane with alternating one-way traffic, to restore limited access for emergency and service vehicles.  Local residents and passenger vehicles are encouraged to continue using Berry Way/Aiston Creek Road (both private roads) to access their private residences south of the flood damaged section of Beach Ave.

  • Additional Repairs Needed: We are developing a permanent roadway repair plan for construction at a future date.


Silver Lake Road – Closed 5 miles north of Maple Falls. 

  • Damage: During the Nov. 14-15 storm event, a large slide realigned Maple Creek over Silver Lake Road about five miles north of Maple Falls. 

  • Repairs/Status: Whatcom County crews will begin work to build a water crossing at the slide during the week of December 13. Please use alternate routes, and stay clear of this area if you are not a local resident. 

  • Additional Repairs Needed: The County is working with geotechnical engineers, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and adjacent property owners to determine short- and long-term repairs for this slide. Discussions are being expedited to resolve the water issues and open Silver Lake Road as soon as possible.


North Fork Road – Closed to the public 2 miles north of Mosquito Lake Road, open to private access for local residents only. 

  • Damage: The actively failing slope has claimed a large section of existing roadway.

  • Repairs/Status: Stabilization work is underway. The actively failing slope has claimed a large section of existing roadway. 

  • Repairs/Status: Our contractor crews have installed an emergency access road for construction and local residents only. Violations of this restriction are subject to fines. The contractor has stabilized the toe of the failure area with large rock. The contractor will continue to place timber logs within the rock to provide habit and roughness to the river bank through the week of December 13. Currently there is no estimate of when this road will reopen for public access.

  • Additional Repairs Needed: Will be determined at a later date. 

Levees

Flooding from the November storms caused significant damage to the Nooksack River levee system.  Our River and Flood Division staff are working with the U.S Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to assess the damage, and work is underway on emergency repairs. We will continue to share updates as these repair projects progress.  

Lynden Levee damage Nov 18Lynden Levee damage, photo taken November 18, 2021

Lynden Levee - South of Kok Road

  • Damage significant: Backslope damage along right bank 

  • Repairs/Status: Staff could not access this levee to evaluate damages until recently. Most of the damage occurred during the first flood event with additional damage sustained during the second flood event. The USACE will begin emergency repairs the week of December 13 with our support. 

  • Additional Repairs Needed: to be determined

Marine Drive Levee damage Nov 22Marine Drive Levee breach, photo taken November 22, 2021

Marine Drive Levee - South of Slater Road

  • Damage significant: Approximately 150 feet of levee was washed away in a very wet and inaccessible area south of Slater Road.

  • Repairs/Status: We are currently evaluating options for measures that can be taken to reduce impacts to Slater Road and Marine Drive.

  • Additional Repairs Needed: to be determined

Timon Levee repairs Dec 3Timon Levee repairs, photo taken December 3, 2021

Timon Levee - south of Timon Road

  • Damage significant: Two levee breaches along right bank 

  • Repairs/Status: Emergency repairs are currently under construction by the USACE with our support. Emergency repairs are approximately 75% complete and are anticipated to be complete the week of December 13.

  • Additional Repairs Needed: Yes, Spring/Summer 2022

Twin View Levee repairs Dec 2Twin View Levee repairs, photo taken December 2, 2021

Twin View Levee - upstream of State Route 544 Bridge

  • Damage significant: Two levee breaches along left bank 

  • Repairs/Status: Initial emergency repairs were completed after the first flood, and the USACE completed final repairs with our support on December 3. 

  • Additional Repairs Needed: No

Fish Trap Levee repairs Dec 3Fishtrap Levee repairs, photo taken December 3, 2021

Fishtrap Creek Levee - upstream of Guide Meridian Road / State Route 539

  • Damage minor-moderate: Three levee breaches along left bank 

  • Repairs/Status: We repaired the initial breach after the first flood. The second flood caused two more breaches upstream and downstream of the first emergency repair. The USACE completed a second emergency repair with our support on December 3. 

  • Additional Repairs Needed: Yes - Spring/Summer 2022

Rainbow Slough Levee repairs complete Dec 6Rainbow Slough Levee repairs completed, photo taken December 6, 2021

Rainbow Slough Levee - downstream of Ferndale Road bridge

  • Damage minor-moderate: Levee breach along right bank 

  • Repairs/Status: Emergency repair completed by USACE with our support on November 27.

  • Additional Repairs Needed: No

Saar Cr Levee repairs Nov 29Saar Creek Levee repairs, photo taken November 29, 2021

Saar Creek Levee - adjacent to Reese Hill Road / State Route 547

  • Damage minor-moderate: Levee breached along right bank at sediment trap Repairs/Status: Drainage District #15 completed an initial emergency repair after the first flood. The District requested help from the county and USACE after the second flood, and the USACE completed an emergency repair with our support on November 30. The District is currently working on emergency dredging of the stream and sediment trap.

  • Additional Repairs Needed: Yes - Spring/Summer 2022

Hovander Park Levee - downstream of main park grounds

  • Damage minor: Backslope damage occurred on the left bank 

  • Repairs/Status: Whatcom County Parks will repair the damage soon.

  • Additional Repairs Needed: No

Polinder Levee - downstream of Hannegan Road Bridge

  • Damage minor: Backslope damage occurred on the left bank during the first flood

  • Repairs/Status: We completed emergency repairs shortly after the first flood.

  • Additional Repairs Needed: No


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