Arroyo Park is an 85-acre park in the South Neighborhood, accessed off Chuckanut Drive and Old Samish Road or via the Interurban Greenway and Trail system. The park is the north gateway to recreational opportunities in the Chuckanut Mountains. Chuckanut Creek runs through the park for approximately ½ of a mile and supports various fish runs. Arroyo Park includes a 62-foot-long pedestrian bridge over Chuckanut Creek, connecting the Interurban Trail to the trails of Arroyo Park and Larrabee State Park and serving as an important recreational resource for the community.
Two trail bridges in Arroyo Park, including the main bridge crossing Chuckanut Creek, were damaged in January 2021 when trees fell on them during a winter storm. The City immediately began bridge repair design and since then has been working through permitting requirements that ensure protection of this important critical area. Plans include removing and replacing the smaller bridge and repairing and rehabilitating the larger bridge crossing Chuckanut Creek.
The larger bridge’s supports and superstructure are broken at the existing stone abutment and the current repair scope includes new steel/I-beam stringers from the existing stone abutment to the North bank, as well as decking and hand railing. Construction access is challenging due to location and topography and the project.
Bridge repairs are expected to be complete summer 2023. Construction is anticipated to begin July 2023 and must be complete by September 30 to protect spawning fish, as work is not allowed to occur during times of year when fish are spawning.
In the interim, Arroyo Park and Chuckanut Mountain trails can be accessed from the North Chuckanut Mountain Trailhead parking lot on Chuckanut Drive.
The project has required multiple permits at the federal, state and City levels:
- City of Bellingham – State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA)
- City of Bellingham – Shoreline Development Permit Exemption (SDP, Type II)
- Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) – Hydraulic Project Approval (HPA)
- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) – Section 404/10 Permit (Nationwide Permit (NWP) #3 – Maintenance)
- USACE Joint Aquatic Resources Permit Application (JARPA)
- Certification and Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) Consistency Determination
$560,000 in Greenway Levy Funds
On January 30, 2023, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife issued Hydraulic Project Approval for the repair work and the City is now working toward 100% design.