Is this the best urbanite anywhere?

W. College Way 1 mark

The ‘outcrop’ on W. College Way. There isn’t much room to get up close and personal, but with reduced traffic when campus is closed, you can pull it off. 

A great example, maybe the best I’ve ever seen, of urbanite nicely mimicking real rock is on W. College Way in Bellingham, between Highland Drive and Bill McDonald Parkway, just up the hill from the Wade King Student Rec Center. An exposure of apparent sandstone of the Chuckanut Formation (or is it?) lines the road.(For field trips to real exposures and features in the Chuckanut, go here on this website.

W. College Way 1 crop mark

Here’s a closer view. Looks pretty natural, eh?

Actually, there really is Chuckanut here, just up the hill, but it is buried in the bushes. This is the most convincing urbanite I can think of in these parts; maybe anywhere. If you know of something really good, please send pics and the location and the story if you know it. If you know of something really badly done, send that. too.        dtchico@gmail.com copy

 

How can I tell this is urbanite and not the local sandstone? It could have fooled me.

First lets take a look at the real thing.

P1030178 rsz mark

Dipping Chuckanut mudstone and more massive sandstone beds north of mile post 13 on Chuckanut Drive, south of Bellingham.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

80-foot wall of Chuckanut sandstone and shale in the scarp of the Racehorse Creek landslide. Read about that 2009 event here on my website.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So you can see, the illusion isn’t bad. The engineers did it well, and likely had the assistance of a geologist.

UPDATE– April 10, 2020. Indeed there was. According to alert reader Sue M, the geologist on this project was J. Robert Gordon of Geoengineers in Bellingham

Now, let’s get a close look at this urbanite.

W. College Way 3 mark

You can see that the surface is sprayed on, and in places it drips, like just to the right of my finger.

W. College Way 4 mark

And the ‘cracks’, meant to mimic fractures in sandstone, all bottom out- they were carved into to hardening concrete. You have to scrub out the accumulated soil to see this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But now, for the real evidence. I remember when this concrete was poured to stabilize this slope. The steep slope of unconsolidated soil and glacial till slumped a couple of times and covered the road. This was done in the mid-1990s. Since then, our prolific vegetation has colonized the ‘roadcut’. Well done, engineers!

8 Responses

  1. This is so cool, thank you.

    On Tue, Apr 7, 2020, 10:26 AM Northwest Geology Field Trips wrote:

    > magmatist posted: ” A great example, maybe the best I’ve ever seen, of > urbanite nicely mimicking real rock is on W. College Way in Bellingham, > between Highland Drive and Bill McDonald Parkway, just up the hill from the > Wade King Student Rec Center. An exposure of apparent ” >

  2. Click to enlarge photos isn’t working for me. But I like the “lesson”! Thanks for keeping our eyes open, should we ever get out again. Leslie

    • Hmmm, Doesn’t work for me either, Leslie. It always used to. Now I have something else to figure out…thanks for pointing this out. Dave

  3. Amazing! I never would have known it’s not natural road cut through stone if you had not shown this. Now I’ll be looking everywhere… 🙂

  4. I had no idea that was fake! Thanks.

  5. Hey Dave – thanks for the interesting, close to home example. You are correct – there was indeed a good geologist involved in that one. Kudos to J. Robert Gordon of Geoengineers in Bellingham. Derek pointed it out to me years ago, and I made him pull over to check, chagrined at not spotting faux rock myself! S. Madsen

    On Tue, Apr 7, 2020, 10:25 AM Northwest Geology Field Trips wrote:

    > magmatist posted: ” A great example, maybe the best I’ve ever seen, of > urbanite nicely mimicking real rock is on W. College Way in Bellingham, > between Highland Drive and Bill McDonald Parkway, just up the hill from the > Wade King Student Rec Center. An exposure of apparent ” >

  6. Hey Dave – ling time no see. Thanks for the interesting, close to home example. You are correct – there was indeed a good geologist involved in that one. Kudos to J. Robert Gordon of Geoengineers in Bellingham. Derek pointed it out to me years ago, and I made him pull over to check, chagrined at not spotting faux rock myself!

  7. […] Is this the best urbanite anywhere? April 7, 2020 […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: