White Rock’s Memorial Park and the waterfront parkade are expected to open to the public this month.
City of White Rock Coun. Christopher Trevelyan posted a project timeline update on his Facebook page March 30.
The post indicates that the parkade and Memorial Park are anticipated to open April 19.
After much debate about how tall White Rock’s waterfront parkade should be, the previous council agreed on a four-storey height at a cost of $12.5 million. The parkade is located at the corner of Vidal Street and Victoria Avenue, approximately one block from the beach.
Memorial Park, located next to the city’s pier, has been behind fences since a failed groundbreaking ceremony on Sept. 14, 2017.
Following a tense confrontation between Semiahmoo First Nation and city officials at the invitation-only groundbreaking ceremony two years ago, the upgrade project was put on hold while the city conducted an archeological dig at the site. SFN reportedly did not receive an invitation to the event.
The city, SFN, and archeological consultants hired to assess the site discovered part of a shell midden in January, 2018.
Shell middens, found in coastal zones around the world, are heaps of mollusk shells, combined with other human-created debris, which can be significant for archeologists tracing the history and nature of human habitation.
Memorial Park was budgeted at $6.7 million, which was to include a new public washroom facility.
Trevelyan’s Facebook post also provided an update on the re-opening of East Beach.
A portion of East Beach has been behind barricades since a violent windstorm resulted in several boats and a section of a dock destroying the mid-section of the White Rock Pier.
The Dec. 20 storm caused significant damage to the East Beach, and hundreds of tons of logs and debris have since been removed from the waterfront.
According to Trevelyan, East Beach is to re-open in mid-May.
Last October, the City of White Rock announced that construction work had started on the waterfront to improve signalization and crossing approaches for pedestrians as part of the federal funding for rail safety-related projects on the Semiahmoo Peninsula.
While the work was being conducted, public access to several rail crossings was blocked. Trevelyan’s post says that all rail crossings are expected to open May 1.
White Rock Pier
Trevelyan also noted that council will hear a staff report on the White Rock Pier at its next meeting, April 8.
In January, it was reported that White Rock’s Pier could cost in the range of $16.2 million to fully restore and rebuild to current construction standards.
But city staff recommended a phased approach, that would see initial repairs to the pier completed by this August for an amount closer to $5 million.