A waterfront plaza and 1.5 kilometre lakefront trail from the new Nesk7usem Bridge to an historic public beach on the southwest end of the lake are part of draft conceptual plan prepared for the city of Williams Lake.
During a committee of the whole meeting Tuesday, Oct. 26, staff and council received a presentation about the plan from Gerry Melenka, TRUE Consulting project planner.
Melenka said existing CN Rail right-of-way is an obstacle in effectively making the waterfront accessible to the public, however, the plan demonstrates ways to provide safe and appealing public access to the lake along the southern shores and promote ecological stewardship and restoration.
A significant portion of the trail will need to be situated within the foreshore, and would include an elevated boardwalk with viewing decks that jut out, he explained, noting the width would be a minimum of three metres, which is common for multi-use pathways.
The plan recommends the boardwalk be constructed far enough out into the lake and high enough above the water to not negatively impact vegetation or be susceptible to waves and ice build-up.
A waterfront plaza included in the plan, would be constructed on a triangular one-hectare piece of land owned by the city.
“It gives us a fair amount of room and is a lot more space than we initially gave it credit for,” Melenka said.
It could accommodate things as a double wide boat launch, pedestrian plaza, concession stand, floating dock, kayak, canoe or paddle board rentals, day-use areas, parking for small vehicles and truck and trailers, spaces for food trucks and public washrooms.
Cost estimates for the plan have yet to be estimated as the company will await feedback from the city.
At the regular meeting Tuesday, Nov. 2, council will receive a recommendation from the committee of the whole meeting that staff be directed to organize public consultation activities to seek feedback on the proposed Waterfront Enhancement Plan and to send correspondence soliciting input from CN Rail and the Williams Lake First Nation.