A 250-metre stretch from Northfield Creek to Cilaire has been identified as a ‘quick win’ priority in the City of Nanaimo’s draft plan for the waterfront walkway. (CITY OF NANAIMO image)

Draft plan presented for Nanaimo’s waterfront walkway

Five sections, including $3.4M Cilaire segment, identified as 'quick wins'

The City of Nanaimo has identified the waterfront walkway’s missing pieces and come up with plans to fill in those gaps.

City staff presented a waterfront walkway draft plan at Monday’s city council meeting. The document summarizes public input, details five segments that have been identified as “quick wins,” and touches on medium- and long-range plans for the project.

“Until now, we’ve been building the walkway really without an overall game plan,” said Bill Corsan, deputy director of community development.

The five short-term priorities include a stretch from B.C. Ferries to Cilaire, a section in front of the Anchorage-Asia Pacific Yachting Group, a detour around the Nanaimo Shipyard, a segment adjacent to the boat basin, and a route around Port Drive property.

“One of the things council asked us asked us to do last year was to identify what we call the quick wins, which are projects that we could do over the next two years and we tested these projects with the public to see which of the five projects they’d be most interested in,” Corsan said. “When we brought those to council, we assumed you’d pick one or two of them, but you picked all five, so we’re trying to deliver all five for you.”

The waterfront walkway draft plan comes after five open houses, two public surveys and a design workshop. Some of the findings, according to the document, are that 82 per cent of residents support development of the waterfront walkway, 89 per cent would prefer the city build new sections before upgrading existing sections, and 75 per cent feel B.C. Ferries to Departure Bay should be the top priority.

The 250-metre Cilaire stretch would cost $3.4-$3.5 million; the boat basin segment, $2 million; the Port Drive walkway, $800,000-$1 million; the shipyard detour, $75,000; and the Asia Pacific bit, $50,000. The boat basin walkway will be cost-shared with Port Place shopping centre.

Some future segments will be pricier, with the White Eagle-to-Battersea section estimated to cost $14 million and the Haliburton-to-Nanaimo River estuary section estimated at $9.8 million.

Council voted unanimously to refer the draft plan to the community planning and parks and rec committees and allocate $175,000 for preliminary design work.

Corsan said after this current phase of the public process, staff will make final changes to the waterfront walkway plan and bring it back to council in January 2018.

To view the draft plan, click here.

Other news from Monday’s city council meeting:

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