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Surrey awards $1M contract for Nicomekl park design

Riverfront project to span three kilometres of South Surrey waterway’s south bank
A concept plan outlines Phase 1 of the Nicomekl Riverfront Park project. (City of Surrey graphic)

Surrey council has approved a $1 million contract for the design of Phase 1 of the Nicomekl Riverfront Park in South Surrey.

The 80-acre park is to include trails, paths and more along three kilometres of the south riverbank, stretching from Elgin Park eastward to 40 Avenue and 156 Street.

The city first hosted an open house to gather input on plans for the park in September 2018. At that time, it was to include seven distinct “character zones” taking into account both the geography and the heritage of the area.

READ MORE: South Surrey riverfront plan draws interest at open house

The Phase 1 design encompasses two of those zones: Hadden Mill (between Elgin Road and the new King George Boulevard bridge) and Oxbow (east of King George, and including the former Riverside Golf property appropriated by the city), where the majority of park amenities are planned.

It’s a “huge endeavour,” Coun. Laurie Guerra said Tuesday (July 27), prior to council’s early-morning vote on the contract.

“This is one of 13 projects that the Government of Canada gave our city more than $76 million towards in order to support the construction or improvement of Surrey assets which are affected by coastal flood vulnerability due to climate change.”

READ MORE: WATCH: $76 million pledged for coastal flooding mitigation in Surrey and Delta

Of the $76 million, $4 million has been allocated to the three-phase Nicomekl Riverfront Park project, a city release notes.

Other city projects to benefit from the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund (DMAF) include dyke and road upgrades, sea dam and bridge replacements – including the Nicomekl dam and Bailey bridge – and storm sewer upgrades.

The Phase 1 design contract was awarded to space2place design inc.

According to the corporate report considered by council, the two zones included in the contract “are envisioned to include multiple amenities like trails, a kayak/canoe launch, a natural styled playground, picnic areas, viewpoints, an amphitheatre a great lawn, public art, heritage elements, washrooms, and parking lots.”

“Also included are multiple ecological and flood adaptation elements like a habitat island, a new flood channel, wetlands, ponds, meadows, enhanced riparian area, new planting, and elements that are resilient to flooding like trails and parking lots,” the report states.

A final concept plan for Phase 1 is expected by mid-2022, with early construction works to begin late that same year.

Under the terms of the DMAF contribution agreement, costs associated with the park project are eligible for 40 per cent funding, to a maximum of $4 million.
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Tracy Holmes

About the Author: Tracy Holmes

Tracy Holmes has been a reporter with Peace Arch News since 1997.
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