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Here's when full access to the Bloedel Donovan boat launch at Lake Whatcom will return

Watch crews install a new dock at Bloedel Donovan Park on Lake Whatcom

Crews install new dock floats Friday, May 18, 2018, at Bloedel Donovan Park on Lake Whatcom. The project is part of a $350,000 overhaul by Bellingham Paks and Recreation.
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Crews install new dock floats Friday, May 18, 2018, at Bloedel Donovan Park on Lake Whatcom. The project is part of a $350,000 overhaul by Bellingham Paks and Recreation.

Renovations of the old boat ramp at Bloedel Donovan, the last part of the $350,000 project, are expected to be done before the Memorial Day weekend.

The gaps that were a potential tripping hazard will no longer exist and the docks will be more stable, according to Gina Austin, project engineer for the city's Parks Development Division.

Last week, the City of Bellingham began swapping out the old floats, which were put in more than 35 years ago, for new ones.

There are two rows of floats, eight floats in each row, Austin said.

Most of the money for the project came from the Boating Facilities Grant from the State of Washington Recreation and Conservation Office. The remaining $92,000 came from the city's real estate excise taxes.

The popular park and boat launch provide the only public access to Lake Whatcom within city limits. At its peak, more than 100 motorized boats use the launch a day, Bellingham officials said.

Its also the city's primary checkpoint for boat inspections to keep aquatic invasive species out of Lake Whatcom.

The overall project includes new piling and new docks for the boat launch.

Access is limited during installation of the new floats, with the boat launch area being restricted to one lane.

When the renovations are done, people will notice the difference, according to Austin.

"I think people are super excited. Those old floats were there for so many years," Austin said.

Kie Relyea: 360-715-2234, @kierelyea
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