Beach access stairs closed in Whalebone by Regional District

Sounder News

Tuesday, July 11 2017

The Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) has temporarily closed the Bluewhale, Hummingbird and Joyce Lockwood beach access stairs located in the Whalebone Community Parks on Gabriola Island due to safety concerns owing to erosion, damage, and other site challenges. 

That, according to a notice posted by RDN Park Planner Elaine McCulloch this past week.

Howard Houle, RDN Director for Electoral Area B (Gabriola, Mudge, Decourcy) said, “It’s unfortunate that the stairs in Whalebone area are closed all at the same time with beach season here.”

A geotechnical assessment has been completed and the stairs will remain closed pending a review of the repair options and pricing. In addition, the Queequeg beach access will be temporarily closed for improvements set to commence shortly. This access is expected to be reopened to the public prior to the end of July.

Those wishing to access the beach off Joyce Lockwood park can find an alternative access by continuing past the now-closed stairs, across the bridge installed by the Gabriola Land and Trails Trust (GaLTT) in 2015, to where there is an access going down to the beach off the crown lands. RDN staff confirmed even the stairs at the Joyce Lockwood park, which were rebuilt only a few years ago to meet provincial building codes, are now considered unsafe.