Project Overview: EV-0148 and EV-0156
The Squalicum Creek Re-route Phases 3 and 4 habitat enhancement projects will build on two prior phases to address water quality and fish habitat impacts to Squalicum Creek by Bug Lake and surrounding development. Bug Lake, a man-made gravel borrow pit that was created during the construction of I-5, is currently the cause of the largest thermal-loading (i.e. heat) issues in Squalicum Creek. Because the pond is shallow and wide, it absorbs large amounts of solar heat, causing peaks in water temperature that are harmful to salmon.
This project involves restoring approximately 2/3 of Bug Lake to a forested wetland. The creek will flow through a historic channel south of the restored forested wetland, crossing under Squalicum Parkway in a new fish-passable culvert, and follow two remnant channels northwest to rejoin the current creek channel.
This project will:
- Reduce stream temperatures;
- Increase channel length, riparian cover, and riparian width west of Squalicum Parkway;
- Restore riverine wetland to improve water quality functions; and,
- Bypass a partial fish passage barrier at Squalicum Parkway.
Construction of this project is anticipated to begin in July 2020 and conclude in December 2020. Riparian planting will continue 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 Orchard Drive Extension, a new arterial under I-5 that will connect Squalicum Parkway with James Street and is in the same vicinity as this project, is scheduled to be built in 2021. This street will ultimately ease traffic congestion on Ellis Street and Sunset Drive around the hospital.
Status – November 2020
Accomplishments: All creek work is complete. The new stream channel has been constructed and is open for fish migration; Bug Lake has been restored to a forested wetland; a fish-passable culvert has been installed under Squalicum Parkway.
Next Milestone: Planting is currently underway and is expected to finish by the end of winter 2021.
Virtual Tour of Project Construction
This video was filmed September 2, 2020 by BTV Bellingham during the project’s construction. The video features Craig Mueller, Project Engineer, and Analiese Burns, Project Manager.
- September 14, 2020 – The City hosted a virtual event with a video tour of the Squalicum Creek Re-route Phases 3 and 4 project followed by a live Q&A with project experts.
- August 2020 – Press release announcing installation of fish-passable culvert
- July 2020 – Press release announcing start of construction
- June 2020 – Presentation slides (with presenter notes) from planned in-person informational open house, canceled due to COVID-19
- November 12, 2019 – Presentation slides from Cornwall Park Neighborhood Association meeting (includes Squalicum Re-route and Orchard Drive Extension projects)
- Squalicum Creek Corridor projects graphic (includes Squalicum Creek Re-route and Orchard Drive Extension projects)
- Squalicum Creek Re-route Phases 1-4 overview graphic
- Status – Construction
- Contract Awarded – 6/22/20
- Contract Amount – $1,767,726
- Contractor – Tiger Construction
- Vicinity Map
Craig Mueller, P.E.
Public Works Department, Engineering
(360) 778-7922, firstname.lastname@example.org
Habitat and Restoration Manager
Public Works Department, Natural Resources
(360) 778-7968, email@example.com