Brownsville to E. 16th - Upper Silver Beach Creek Stream Stabilization Project

Project Overview
Whatcom County Public Works completed new stormwater treatment facilities in the Brownsville neighborhood of the Silver Beach Creek sub-basin near Lake Whatcom. This area experiences increased stormwater runoff and greater peak flows due to its developed landscape. The new facilities substantially improve water quality and reduce flooding along this especially problematic reach of Silver Beach Creek between Brownsville Drive and East 16th Place.

This portion of the Upper Silver Beach Creek Stream Stabilization Project includes vegetated swales, a raised and widened stream channel, stabilized slopes, and stormwater vaults at key inflows. These improvements will promote infiltration, filter phosphorus-containing sediment, reduce erosion, and alleviate flooding. The project was completed below budget and on time by local contractor Colacurcio Brothers Construction in October 2011.

The Brownsville Drive to E. 16th Place Project is the second of several improvements that Whatcom County Public Works will construct in the Silver Beach Creek sub-basin. A third project is slated for next summer in 2012. This work is part of a coordinated effort by Whatcom County, the City of Bellingham, and the Lake Whatcom Water and Sewer District to improve water quality in Lake Whatcom. Part of the funding for this project came from local real estate excise tax revenues and a federal EPA grant.

Whatcom County Public Works was awarded the 2012 Environmental Project of the Year by the American Public Works Association Washington State Chapter for water quality improvements resulting from the Brownsville Drive to E. 16th Place Project in the Silver Beach Creek sub-basin.

Project Details
  • Jurisdiction: Whatcom County
  • Contractor: Colacurcio Brothers Construction
  • Final Construction Cost: $900,000
  • Completion Date: September 30, 2011
Project Area
The Brownsville to E. 16th Project is located in the Brownsville neighborhood in the Silver Beach Creek sub-basin of the Lake Whatcom Watershed.

Project Manager
Kirk Christensen, P.E.
Stormwater Manager
Whatcom County
Phone: (360) 778-6297

Project Map
Deeply incised and eroded banks at Silver Beach Creek near Megan Lane
Megan Lane after construction
View of swale with vegetation starting to establish