Capital Improvement Project Identification and Selection Process

2006 - Initial Identification of Stormwater Problems

The process to identify and prioritize stormwater capital improvement projects (CIPs) in the Birch Bay watershed began with the 2006 Birch Bay Comprehensive Stormwater Plan (BBCSP). To develop this plan, information on surface water problems was collected from Birch Bay citizens, local and state agencies, previous studies and plans completed for the area, and field observations. Through this process:

  • 41 surface water issues and problems were identified (pages 4-5 - 4-7).

  • surface water problems were ranked in the areas of people, environment, and frequency (pages 4-9 - 4-10).

  • 12 surface water issues were identified as having a potential capital solution (pages 4-5 - 4-7).

2009 - Reevaluation and Ranking of Stormwater Problems

The BBWARM Advisory Committee and Whatcom County Public Works immediately began the process of identifying priority capital projects once funds were available for the Birch Bay stormwater program in 2009. This work is summarized in the Birch Bay Watershed Project Screening and Criteria Memorandum and includes:

  • reevaluation of all 41 surface water issues identified in the BBCSP with criteria based on environmental benefit, community benefit cost, and time for completion.

  • selection of 10 priority projects to move forward (page 17).

2010 - Conceptual Designs for 10 Priority CIPs

Preliminary field work and conceptual designs were completed for the top 10 projects. This work is summarized in the Birch Bay Watershed Project Conceptual Design Memorandum and includes:

  • conceptual engineering solutions with cost estimates for all priority projects.

  • identification of five priority projects for further evaluation and preliminary design (Table 2, page 48).

  • all 10 priority projects are listed on the preliminary evaluation reports page.

2010 - Preliminary Designs for 5 Priority CIPs

The next step was to collect additional survey data, complete hydrologic and hydraulic modeling, and develop a preliminary design with cost estimate for the top five priority projects. This information was used to select the Charel Terrace Stormwater System Improvements Project for final design and construction in 2011.

2011 - 2012 - Recommendations for Remaining CIPs

Technical memorandums were completed for the remaining priority projects with conclusions and recommendations for next steps. Go to the preliminary evaluation reports page to read the technical reports.

2013 - Reevaluation and Ranking of CIPs for the 6 Year Plan

The BBWARM Advisory Committee and Whatcom County Public works used a revised CIP prioritization scoring criteria developed as part of the Urban Subwatershed Master Plan to rank an updated list of possible CIPs. The new list includes stormwater problem areas previously identified in the 2006 Comprehensive Stormwater Plan plus new areas identified through the North-Central Subwatershed Master Plan and citizen reports. Top-ranking projects were grouped by location and placed on a new 6-year plan.

2014 - present

The BBWARM 6-year capital plan is updated every year and incorporated into the Whatcom County Public Works 6-year Water Resources Improvement Program, which is adopted every fall by Whatcom County Council.