These gaps in West Beach hand railings were closed last spring. Work to address similar gaps in East Beach got underway last week.

Meshing on East Beach railings hoped to deter trespassing

Work alongside White Rock train tracks is part of ongoing efforts to address rail-safety concerns.

Work to fill in a gap in hand railing that runs along White Rock’s East Beach train tracks got underway last week with the pouring of concrete footings.

Director of engineering Greg St. Louis said Friday that once finished, the black railing will be unbroken for the entire East Beach stretch of the promenade. As well, it will have wire mesh added, to deter people from climbing through the rails to either access or leave the waterfront.

“We’ve had issues with kids climbing up on the rocks and sitting on the tracks in the summer,” St. Louis said.

The request for proposals went out in August. Cost of the work is “less than $50,000,” and it is expected complete before the end of December, he said.

It is part of ongoing efforts to address rail-safety concerns along the waterfront that were brought into focus following the July 2013 Lac Mégantic derailment and the death just days later of a jogger who was struck by a train on East Beach.

The latter in particular prompted Transport Canada to order changes, including an increase in train whistling.

Other steps already taken include the addition of chainlink fencing along Bayview Park in West Beach, the installation of bollards at the West Beach boat launch – to deter people from parking vehicles on the tracks – and the closing of gaps in the West Beach hand railing.

Meshing is expected to eventually also stretch along hand railing west of the pier, however, that work is dependent on re-establishing two at-grade pedestrian crossings at West Beach.

St. Louis said the city is currently negotiating with railway owner BNSF on an agreement to do just that.

A engineering contract for the design has already been awarded, he said.

“Burlington’s agreed with the city to allow us to put in the two crossings,” St. Louis said. “We’re hoping our design will be in by the end of the year.”

The design will need to be approved by BNSF before any work can proceed.

 

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