In 2016, the City of Nanaimo completed upgrades to the existing Departure Bay Beachfront to improve accessibility and enjoyment opportunities of this recreational area. These improvements supported the Waterfront Enhancement priority of Nanaimo’s Strategic Plan.
This project also supported objectives identified in the Departure Bay Neighbourhood Plan such as:
- improve walking opportunities,
- maintain and improve existing parking, and
- ensure maximum pedestrian accessibility and safety
The steepness of the walkway and car park area before the upgrades were uncomfortable for many users and challenging for people with added mobility needs.
The image below highlights the steep grade of the walkway before the upgrades as well as rendering of the area showing all the issues we were trying to resolve with the improvements.
The overall project included several improvements to enhance the area including:
- levelling parts of the seawall walkway
- installing new pedestrian access ramps
- installing new street lights & walkway lights
- improvements to parking facilities
- replacement of old storm drain on Loat Street
Due to the cultural and heritage significance of the area, the City worked with the Snuneymuxw First Nation and an archaeological consultant to complete monitoring during construction.