File photo Winter weather and an archaeological impact assessment have slowed progress on the Memorial Park upgrade project at the waterfront.

White Rock’s Memorial Park work moves ahead – slowly

Partial completion of waterfront upgrade expected by the end of July

White Rock chief administrative officer Dan Bottrill admits some frustration at progress of the city’s Memorial Park upgrade at the waterfront.

But he said that it still seems to be on track for partial completion by this summer.

“The best guess – and I don’t think that’s changed – is that we’ll have the portion west of the staircase (above the pier) pretty much completed by the end of July,” he told Peace Arch News last week.

“It’s moving, but not as fast as I’d like. Every construction project takes more time than you’d want, but we’ve got some decent weather right now.

“Hopefully we’ll be looking at demolition of the old washrooms soon.”

Winter weather, and the process of evaluation of potential historic sites by archaelogists representing the city, Semiahmoo First Nation and other regional First Nations, have inevitably slowed progress, Bottrill said.

The official launch of the $5.5 million project was stalled in September when Semiahmoo First Nation Chief Harley Chappell and councillors Joanne and Roxanne Charles presented Mayor Wayne Baldwin with a cease-and-desist letter, calling for consultation on the project, which is on SFN ancestral lands.

In December the city received a provincial archaelogical permit to carry out an archaelogical impact assessment at the site, east of the White Rock Museum and Archives, following months of consultation with SFN and the province.

In January, part of a shell midden – including archaelogically significant deposits of charcoal and animal bones and other debris from early inhabitants – was discovered during digging to locate utility lines at the site.

But Bottrill said no significant archaeological finds have been made since then, and work is continuing at the site.

“There is no question that the project was delayed by about three or four months in terms of being able to complete it,” he said, adding “it is what it is.”

Minus a firm completion date for the first phase of Memorial Park work, the city has developed alternative plans for Canada Day By The Bay, the TD Concerts at the Pier series and the Sea Festival, shifting the main stage to East Beach.

The Tour de White Rock cycling road race will still include Marine Drive, as construction will not impinge on the road itself.

Plans for the Peace Arch Hospital Foundaton’s Picnic on the Pier fundraiser – usually scheduled for the waterfront second week in August – have yet to be announced.

The completed project will include a new flexible plaza space, public art, amphitheatre seating, built-in lighting, enlarged washrooms, a children’s water-spray pad and a wider promenade in the area, which reaches from the east side of the Mueseum and Archives to the current parking lot to the east of the existing washrooms.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Despite evacuation, coronavirus-quarantined White Rock couple still two weeks from home

Government chartered plane to help cruising Canadians return from Japan

Trade sends Surrey NHLer Brenden Dillon to Washington

‘We felt it was important for us to add a player of his caliber to our defensive group,’ says Caps GM

Construction begins on Highway 91/17 improvements in Delta

Project includes new interchanges at Highway 17/Highway 91 Connector and at River Road/Highway 17

Suspect in Surrey forcible confinement arrested in Toronto

Constable Richard Wright, of the Surrey RCMP, said William Daniels-Sey was arrested on Feb. 16

Outdoor AED unit in Surrey among the first in B.C.

SaveStation cabinet is alarmed and monitored – and hasn’t been used yet

VIDEO: 7 things you need to know about the 2020 B.C. budget

Surplus of $227 million with big spending on infrastructure and capital projects

Trees Cannabis director fined $1.5M for selling marijuana

Fine follows provincial crackdown on popular dispensary

World Cup skier from Okanagan dies suddenly at 19

Kuroda, who made his World Cup debut earlier this year, passed away suddenly Monday night.

Coastal GasLink pipeline investor committed to closing deal despite protests

Developer TC Energy Corp. — formerly TransCanada Corp. — is to remain the operator of the $6.6-billion pipeline

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

What’s in a name? The story of Revelstoke’s Mt. Begbie

It’s likely the iconic peak had several Indigenous peoples’ names before settlers arrived

Budget 2020: B.C. Liberals blast ‘Netflix tax,’ lack of economic plan

ICBC rates still go up, except in election year, Shirley Bond says

Teen snowmobiler from Kelowna found after air force’s overnight search

The teen had been missing since just after 6 p.m. on Monday

Two law enforcement trucks ‘deliberately’ set on fire in northern B.C., RCMP say

Police say they have video evidence of a person in the area of the truck fires

Most Read

l -->