Transport Canada orders West Beach boat launch closed in White Rock

Workers install fencing at the West Beach boat launch in White Rock Tuesday morning. - Laurie Pike photo
Workers install fencing at the West Beach boat launch in White Rock Tuesday morning.
— image credit: Laurie Pike photo

White Rock's West Beach boat launch is off-limits, effective immediately and on the order of Transport Canada.

The City of White Rock announced late Monday (after Peace Arch News press deadline) that the order to close the boat launch was received Friday. It was accompanied by an order for trains travelling between Coldicutt Ravine and the Semiahmoo First Nation to blow their horns intermittently from dawn to dusk.

Amtrak passenger trainFencing along the west edge of Bayview Park and at the bottom of Coldicutt Ravine stairs, as well as from the Finlay Street crossing east to the reserve, is to be installed by BNSF by the end of June, a news release states.

Greg St. Louis, the city's director of engineering and municipal operations, acknowledged the orders – triggered by the July 2013 train death of jogger Anita Lewis and an incident in February involving a senior who was struck by a train after wandering onto the tracks – "will be a difficult change to the waterfront."

However, "the health and well-being of our residents and visitors comes first."

"The safety of our residents is incredibly important," St. Louis said.

Access to the boat launch is to remain closed until an audio and visual warning system with crossing arm is installed.

More to come…


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