After more than a month of heavy lifting, the City of White Rock has reopened a stretch of the beach and promenade.
While East Beach is still closed, a section of West Beach, from near the white rock to the pier, has been opened to the public.
According to the city’s website, more than 500 tons of logs and garbage were removed from that section of the waterfront by city staff and BNSF Railway.
Hazardous materials such as fuel tanks, batteries, metal fragments and boat components were also removed.
#News: Promenade West of the White Rock to Re-Open on February 7, 2019. Over 500 tons of logs and garbage were removed from this part of the waterfront. Hazardous materials such as fuel tanks, batteries, metal fragments and boat components also removed. https://t.co/w9amFBun9G pic.twitter.com/ouZuAa2NnI
— City of White Rock (@whiterockcity) February 6, 2019
Beach access has been restricted since a Dec. 20 storm caused havoc on the city’s waterfront.
“I am so pleased to hear that we will be reopening this area of the promenade, two days ahead of schedule,” Mayor Darryl Walker said in the city’s post.
“Staff and our partners have been working hard to clean up the debris, garbage, and hazardous material since the December 20, 2018 storm hit our waterfront.”
Walker said that much more work needs to be done, “but we are hopeful that we can share more good news with our community about the progress we’re making around waterfront restoration efforts.”
The city and its partners will continue to work on cleaning East Beach, which remains closed until at least the end of April. Work still to be done includes raising the riprap – loose rock used to reinforce shorelines and other landscape features – in conjunction with completion of four pedestrian railway crossings started last year.
“The promenade will look a little different on East Beach,” city engineer Jim Gordon told Peace Arch News last month.
Last month, city council heard 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 recommend a phased approach that would see initial repairs to the pier completed by this August for an amount closer to $5 million.