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Wastewater work closes popular beach trail in Powell River

Willingdon area a construction zone for treatment plant piping
AREAS BARRICADED: The popular Willingdon Beach trail has closed because construction of the piping that leads from Westview to the new consolidated wastewater treatment plant is beginning.

Linear work in Westview to lay the pipe that will carry liquid waste to the consolidated wastewater treatment plant has resulted in the closure of the Willingdon Beach trail.

At a committee of the whole meeting earlier this month, manager of engineering services Nagi Rizk said equipment would be moved into the Willingdon Beach campsite.

“We are notifying the public and they have been notified previously that the trail is closed,” said Rizk. “Now, we are going to be barricading certain areas of the campsite and the head of the trail at the campsite.”

Rizk said the drilling will start this week from the campsite end.

“This is the most challenging part, actually,” said Rizk. “Coming up soon is the seam welding of the pipe that is going into that drilling. It’s going to be laid on the ground from the laydown area at the old arena site at Willingdon, all the way down the trail right on the beach, all the way to the playground. The welding machine itself will be in the laydown area on Willingdon.”

Rizk said the contractors are following the trail from the campsite to the haul road that leads to the Catalyst Paper Tis’kwat mill.

Director of infrastructure Tor Birtig said the pipeline will come along Willingdon Avenue and at the Chopping Block it will take a right up Abbotsford Street and go along Marine Avenue on the western side of the roadway. He said it will continue along that shoulder until it crosses over McGuffie and McFall creeks and then it makes its way into the upper campground. He said the drill rigs will drill back to the highway as well as drill toward the trail in that section.

“They will be barricading the trail because there will be crews on the trail accessing it to position their equipment,” said Birtig.

He said the upper trails in Millennium Park will remain open. It’s only the lower section that will be closed while the construction takes place, he added.

Birtig said closure of the Willingdon Beach trail is scheduled until the end of June.

“Hopefully, depending on how construction goes,” added Birtig, “we can shorten that timeline.”