By Meg Olson
The dock at Lighthouse Marine Park is on track to be fixed and back in the water this year.
“We’ve come up with a solution,” said Rod Lamb, Whatcom County Parks and Recreation design and development supervisor. “We hope to implement that before the boating season.”
Lamb said the dock’s failure, only a month after it was installed following six years without a dock, was due to a design flaw. “What went wrong is the structures that contained the wave attenuation chambers were also the ‘feet,’ for the dock,” Lamb said.
Due to environmental constraints, the shoreward 20 percent of the dock is the maximum that can hit the ground at low tide, so that 20 percent took the entire load of the dock, and the framing wasn’t strong enough. “As the dock structure grounded out, it hit on the square aluminum tubing and deformed it.”
According to Lamb, the dock manufacturer is making replacement parts up to the task, which will be installed on site. “We’re going to fix it,” he said. He added they were also working on obtaining a permit from the state to allow for ongoing clearing of the boat ramp.
The county has also begun work on the wooden boardwalk used for public events such as the arts and music festival. The failing section of boardwalk has been removed and Lamb said they were beginning a design and engineering process. “We’ll come up with an approach for that area to maintain its day use function. It will likely include a playground,” he said, and some changes to the Orca Center. The old boat playground will probably be removed.
“I’m not sure when it will happen but it will likely be a fall project at the soonest,” Lamb said.
However, the fate of the Cedar Point trail, closed following a slide is uncertain. “We need to evaluate it and see if we can relocate that access point,” Lamb said.