Xwu’nekw Park Sea Dike

The District of Squamish is moving forward with detailed design for the Xwu'nekw Park (pronounced Whoo-Nay-Oak) Sea Dike which will upgrade the shoreline to provide flood protection for Downtown Squamish. 

Background

The site of Xwu’nekw Park and the surrounding area has a rich history dating back long before western settlement when Squamish Nation used the west side of the Mamquam Blind Channel for beaching large ocean-going canoes. The name ‘Xwu’nekw’ means ‘where large canoes are beached’ in Squamish language. The land is presently utilized for a variety of uses including the Xwu’nekw Canoe Shelter used for restoration of canoes by Squamish Nation, Squamish Paddling Club Storage and open space uses such as slack lines.

Xwu’nekw Park is surrounded by a variety of ongoing and future land development. These include the Sirocco development which will include a ramp and dock from the dike down to the water near the Victoria Street road end, and the Waterfront Landing pedestrian bridge which will ultimately terminate on the dike at Victoria Street. Potential for future uses of the land and water include community facilities, park use, water access and on-water boat storage.

The District's Integrated Flood Hazard Management Plan identifies the construction of a new sea dike as a priority in order to meet Provincial standards for protecting the community from coastal flood hazards.  

Project Details 

The proposed Xwu’nekw Park Sea Dike would utilize a steel sheet pile with a vertical face on the water side of the dike to avoid encroaching on the existing canoe shelter and paddling storage. This will provide approximately 4,500 square metres of usable facility space in the park with an approximate width of 24 metres. The concept design will facilitate future water uses such as docks, boat storage and floating commercial. It will also support the future Waterfront Landing pedestrian bridge and Sirocco ramps and floating dock. 

Sea Dike

Design Overview:

  • Provides flexibility for future land and water uses
  • Creates/maintains water access with ramps and dock
  • Aims to improve marine habitat through use of 'reef balls', 'naturalized habitat skirt' or 'living seawall' (to be determined during detailed design)
  • Waterfront trail

 

Project Timeline 

The District will be engaging design professionals (civil/geotechnical engineers, landscape architects, environmental professionals) in fall 2019 with an aim to initiate construction during the 2020 Fish Window (August 16, 2020 to January 31, 2021). Project timing will be dependent on funding and receiving applicable provincial and federal permits. Further scheduling information will be provided as the project progresses.

Impacts

Impacts will be significant during construction and will include the use of cranes, pile drivers, excavators and trucks. The District will strive to mitigate noise and community impacts during construction.

Public Engagement

The District intends to engage the community and stakeholders during the design process. The District will prepare a detailed Public Engagement plan in concert with the design team in fall 2019. Further information on engagement opportunities will be made available as the project progresses. Please contact the District’s Project Manager, David Roulston, droulston@squamish.ca, 604-815-4952 for any inquiries.

Project Cost

The District has budgeted $4 million annually for flood protection improvements in the 2019-2024 Financial Plan. This project is estimated to cost $5 million and will require phasing over multiple years unless the District is successful in receiving grant funding. 

 

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