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Road & Bridge Projects

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Design, Construction:

Bridge & Hydraulic:




Contact Us


Engineering Services
5280 Northwest Drive
Suite C
Bellingham, WA 98226
(360) 676-6730
Fax: (360) 676-6558

Design & Construction and
Bridge & Hydraulic
322 N Commercial St
Suite 301
Bellingham, WA 98225
(360) 715-7450
Fax: (360) 715-7451


Design and Construction - Road Construction

Public Works Engineering, through its Design/Construction (D/C) section, is responsible for capital improvement projects on the county's roadways, bridges, and ferry system.  For a typical project, this involves acquisition of right-of-way, permitting with federal, state, and local agencies, project design, and contract construction and administration.

Each year, work occurs on approximately 10 projects, with a portion of those in the design tractorsphase and a portion in construction.  This number can vary depending upon the size and complexity of the projects chosen.

An identification of typical project costs is: structural overlays ($350,000 per mile), rural roadway reconstruction ($1,000,000 per mile), urban roadway reconstruction ($1,800,000 per mile), traffic signals ($300,000 each), and bridge replacement ($170 per square foot).

Roads and bridges in good condition are essential to ensure efficient, safe, and reliable transportation corridors for commerce and everyday use by the public.  Public Works aggressively works to secure matching state and federal funds on projects to ensure that the citizens of Whatcom County receive the maximum return on their tax dollars.

The D/C section supports Maintenance & Operations (M&O) through technical engineering and survey support.  Other sections of Public Works also receive these technical services.  Conversely, the D/C section receives hydraulic engineering design from Development Review and River & Flood sections as well as traffic data and analysis from the Traffic section.  They also require permit support from Planning & Development Services and maintenance and day labor support for allowable construction projects from M&O.

ConstructionThe accomplishment of the Annual Road Construction Program, by Engineering, requires assistance from the Finance Department Purchasing section.  Purchasing, in concert with the D/C section, goes out to bid on a number of projects each year.  The D/C section produces a set of engineering plans and specifications (Contract Documents) that Purchasing advertises for bid submittals and then conducts a bid opening.  This process also involves the coordination of review, award, and execution with County Council, of a contract with the successful private contractor.  The D/C section also supports the actual construction project by providing inspection and construction engineering to insure successful project completion.