Construction of Squalicum Creek water quality and habitat improvement project begins soon

​​Squalicum Creek

Bellingham, Wash. – City of Bellingham Public Works plans to begin construction of the Squalicum Creek Re-route Phases 3 and 4 restoration project on July 13. This project builds upon two prior phases to address water quality and habitat issues associated with Bug Lake, a man-made gravel borrow pit created during the construction of I-5 that is now a source of warm water harmful to salmon.

The City is working with Tiger Construction to implement the project. Project construction is planned for July to December 2020, with native vegetation planting continuing through February 2021. The most significant traffic impacts are expected for 2-3 weeks in July or August when Squalicum Parkway is reduced to one lane during the construction of a fish-passable culvert under the road. During this time, construction work will continue 24 hours a day, flaggers will be present and emergency vehicles will always be expedited. Beyond the culvert installation, there will be minor traffic impacts from an increased volume of haul trucks in the project area.

The construction schedule could change unexpectedly due to COVID-19 response. All contractors implementing City construction projects at this time are required to follow a health and safety plan for preventing the spread of COVID-19.

This project will restore Bug Lake to its historic condition as a forested wetland and move the stream channel south through the newly restored wetland. These changes will reduce stream temperatures, increase stream channel length and reduce pollutants. Moving the stream channel will also avoid a partial fish passage barrier at Squalicum Parkway and allow the stream to pass under the road through a new fish-passable culvert.

Visit www.cob.org/squalicumreroute​ for the latest project updates, or email camueller@cob.org​ to receive email updates.  

This project is funded by the City of Bellingham, Washington State Department of Ecology, United States Environmental Protection Agency and the Brian Abbott Fish Barrier Removal Board.

Media Contacts

Craig Mueller, Project Engineer
City of Bellingham Public Works
(360) 778-7922