A stabilization project for the Marine Drive hump – aimed at avoiding a potentially catastrophic slope failure – has been approved by White Rock, but the project will cause traffic disruption this fall. (Aaron Hinks photo)

A stabilization project for the Marine Drive hump – aimed at avoiding a potentially catastrophic slope failure – has been approved by White Rock, but the project will cause traffic disruption this fall. (Aaron Hinks photo)

White Rock approves $1 million Marine Drive hump stabilization project

Three-month retaining wall project will involve traffic disruption

Parts of White Rock’s ‘hump’ will be in less danger of crumbling downhill and onto the BNSF railway tracks, now that a contract has been awarded by city council for Marine Drive retaining wall stabilization.

The downside is that the project – scheduled to begin in October – will inevitably result in disruption to vehicle and pedestrian traffic on Marine Drive.

At its July 27 meeting, council approved a $1,065,846 contract for work on the south side of the road between Johnston Road and Cypress Street, with Coun. David Chesney casting the sole vote in opposition.

The winning bid for the contract was submitted by Greystone Design Management Construction Ltd.

The three-month project will include temporary removal of existing sidewalk and curb and reinforced concrete construction including steel pipe piles to shore up the retaining wall. Aimed at remedying instability already evident from cracks in the road and sidewalk displacement, the project would also upgrade the wall to be better able to survive seismic events.

During construction eastbound traffic will be detoured to Buena Vista Avenue or Victoria and Columbia Avenues on a 24-hour, seven-days-a-week basis, although westbound and immediately local two-way traffic will be permitted in the westbound lane.

For pedestrians, the existing westbound parking lane will be repurposed as a temporary walkway, with wooden ramps for accessibility, and temporary traffic barriers to delineate the path.

Resident parking will be relocated to the Cypress Street lot, with parking passes issued to households affected.

READ ALSO: Pressing need for Marine Drive stabilization project, White Rock council told

After review of survey plans and legal documents dating back to White Rock’s separation from Surrey in 1957, and a legal opinion from the city solicitor, staff concluded that the city, rather than BNSF, bears sole responsibility for stabilizing the wall and repairing the road and sidewalk.

According to written and verbal reports to council from engineering and municipal operations director Jim Gordon, risks of a catastrophic retaining wall failure far outweigh the costs and inconvenience of the project.

“The ongoing slippage of the roadway and retaining walls could potentially accelerate, resulting in failure carrying portions of the roadway, sidewalk and underground utilities below onto the BNSF railway tracks,” he wrote.

As well as potential injury and loss of life, Gordon said, it could cause storm sewer damage that could rapidly erode the slope.

It also poses a risk of damage to the sanitary sewer that could pollute the waterfront, loss of the roadway for many months and potential seeking of compensation by the BNSF if the failure affected railway operations.

He estimated costs of repairing such a failure – based on less complicated repairs to Ruth Johnston Park due to a recent slope failure – could easily top $5 million.

Mayor Darryl Walker wondered whether current costs to the city could be offset by provincial or federal funding.

“Is this something that we could consider a shovel-ready project that we may be applying for funding through either level of government?” he asked.

“It would be worth looking at – I don’t think we have anything to lose, if there’s money out there. This is one thing we know we’re going to do and they know we’re going to do – they haven’t given us a heck of a lot recently.”

Chief administrative officer Guillermo Ferrero said the question would be worth examining.

“It would be very challenging to get funding approved before the fall, but I would happily look into it,” he said.



alex.browne@peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

White Rock

Just Posted

Hundreds gathered at Surrey’s Holland Park Friday (June 11) in memory of the Muslim family killed in London, Ont. on Sunday (June 6). (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Educating public ‘exhausting,’ says White Rock Muslim Association past president

Asad Syed says public needs to be more vocal in their condemnation

The City of White Rock turns 63 today. (file photo)
City of White Rock 2020 annual report available for review

Report to be discussed at June 28 council meeting

People were lined up around the fields at a drop-in vaccine clinic at Newton Athletic Park on Tuesday (April 27, 2021), which is one of the high-transmission neighbourhoods that are being given vaccine priority. This clinic was one of at least three to open in the city on Tuesday. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Surrey’s weekly cases continue to drop, push for 80% vaccination rate citywide

BCCDC reports 263 cases for Surrey the week of May 30 to June 5

Fleetwood Park Secondary School’s 2021 commencement ceremonies were held over the course of two days, June 10 and 11. Grads went through a small, distanced ceremony in groups of four, with up to four members of the grad’s household. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Surrey’s 2021 grads find creative ways to celebrate in another year of COVID-19

This year’s Grade 12 students were unable to have any large-scale events

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

Most Read