The City of Nanaimo will hold open houses this month to seek public input on a vision for a continuous walkway from Departure Bay to the Nanaimo River estuary. (The News Bulletin)

Update: City seeks feedback for waterfront walkway planning

The City of Nanaimo will hold three open houses this month

An extended waterfront walkway is a civic priority and the city wants to hear ideas about how to make it happen.

The City of Nanaimo will hold open houses this month to seek public input on a vision for a continuous walkway from Departure Bay to the Nanaimo River estuary.

“I’m excited to see this project moving forward and encourage the public to attend an open house or visit the project website to learn more,” said Coun. Ian Thorpe, in a city press release.

According to the release, the city wishes to engage citizens in order to “better understand the community’s goals for this project and identify any issues that need to be resolved before a consultant team starts to develop a plan.”

The city has budgeted $150,000 to create a waterfront walkway implementation plan this year. While there’s been a vision to build a walkway, from the estuary to Departure Bay, City of Nanaimo manager of real estate Bill Corsan previously told the News Bulletin a full plan has never been put together of what the trail looks like in different sections, where it’s actually supposed to go, the cost and which bits the city should do first.

Open houses will give people background information on the current condition of the existing walkway, check in on the decision to build a walkway from Departure Bay to the estuary and look at different issues, like riparian rights, according to Corsan.

At the end of June, the city plans to hold a design workshop to get into the details and would include costs.

“The may open houses are really just to let people know about the project and here is what we know at the moment and get some initial feedback on some of the guiding principals,” Corsan said. “Hopefully once we get to June we’ll know which sections [of the walkway] people are most interested in and we can also double check to make sure they’re actually viable.”

The city has a rough estimate of $2.5 million for five sections of the walkway, including at the boat basin between McGregor Park and Cameron Island.

Open houses will be held May 17 at Departure Bay’s Kin Hut from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., May 18 at Maffeo Sutton Park from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and May 20 at Kin Hut from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

To view an interactive map detailing the project, please click here.

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