After a couple attempts, a petition signed by 130 residents and more than two years, Parksville council awarded the construction contract for stairs to the waterfront at the end of Sunray Road.
A public demand for beach access in the northwest corner of the city was identified in the 2005 Parks and Open Space Master Plan and council formally addressed the residents’ petition in April 2011.
Charlotte Reid, who presented the petition, said at the time they were enthusiastic about improving the area and talking about block parties and raising money for benches and a small park.
A public information session was held and the city hired Herold Engineering to design and manage the construction, but when the call for tenders to build the stairs went out in June 2012 they only received two bids, both much higher than the engineer’s estimate.
Staff re-evaluated the project and re-tendered in April 2013 receiving three bids, all over the $117,000 estimate, but considered to be good value.
On May 22 the contract for the stairs and associated work was finally awarded to PGH Consulting for $150,800 which meant council had to advance $59,400 from their accumulated surplus for the increased cost.
The stairs will be made of structural marine grade aluminum with concrete stair treads giving public access to the water as well as city access to a storm drain outflow on the steep bank.