Whatcom County Public Works continues its work to repair roads and levees that were damaged during the November 2021 storms. Here is a roundup of our repair projects.
For the week of Friday, Dec. 10, 2021
Birch 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 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.
Slope 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.
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.
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.
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, 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 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.
Timon 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, 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
Fishtrap 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 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.
Saar 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.
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.
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.