A retaining wall stabilization project for the Marine Drive hump – aimed at avoiding potentially catastrophic slope failure – is to get underway Monday (Oct. 5) (File photo)

Stabilization work on White Rock’s hump to begin Oct. 5

Three-month project to disrupt pedestrian, vehicle traffic

Work authorized mid-summer to stabilize retaining walls along White Rock’s Marine Drive ‘hump’ is to get underway Monday (Oct. 5).

In a news release issued Friday (Oct. 2) afternoon, officials note that a July 27 staff report cautioned that the retaining walls supporting the popular waterfront roadway above the BNSF tracks between Johnston Road and Cypress Street “could potentially fail under seismic loading.”

“Stabilization work is needed to protect Marine Drive and its underground utilities,” the release continues.

READ MORE: White Rock approves $1 million Marine Drive hump stabilization project

The work – which was opposed by one city councillor at the July 27 council meeting – is scheduled to continue until January 2021, and is to take place both during and after work hours to reduce the overall construction period.

Businesses and parking lots will remain open throughout, the release notes.

Greystone Design Management Construction Ltd. was awarded the $1,065, 846 construction contract, and the work is to be divided into east and west stabilization areas. The west area spans approximately 50 metres, while the east section is 70 m, the release explains.

Work is to include removal of the existing sidewalk and curbs, construction of reinforced grade beam with steel-pipe piles, full-depth road reconstruction in distressed areas and asphalt mill and overlay in non-distressed areas.

Without it, “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,” engineering and municipal operations director Jim Gordon wrote in the July report.

Eastbound traffic is to be detoured to Buena Vista Avenue or Victoria/Columbia Avenues, while westbound traffic is to remain open.

For pedestrians, a detour map is to be posted at the hillside walkways between Johnston Road and Cypress Street, the release adds.

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