LA CONNER — Town leaders and residents celebrated the completion of a long-envisioned waterfront boardwalk Saturday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Mayor Ramon Hayes welcomed several state lawmakers, town officials both past and present, as well as a representative from Gov. Jay Inslee’s office, to speak on the occasion.

The $2.35 million project extends a walkway along the Swinomish Channel and stretches along the length of La Conner’s waterfront area.

The boardwalk’s design, along with removal of creosote-treated pilings, was a major factor in the project receiving permits to build over the Swinomish Channel. Grid-like panels on the boardwalk’s surface let sunlight filter through to the water below. The design eliminates shadows that can harbor predators to salmon smolt and provides light for natural marine vegetation.

Construction of a waterfront boardwalk has been a dream of local leaders for decades. Town officials hope it will draw tourists, aid local retailers, support construction jobs and offer something locals can enjoy year round.

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