August 21, 2013 - 8:16 AM
KELOWNA - In just over half an hour the city's downtown marina gained a brand new attraction.
Floating on pontoons, a 334-foot wooden boardwalk was towed into the waters at the end of Bernard Avenue this afternoon. It's the core component of Kelowna's first ever public pier. Over the past few months construction crews have been busily working on the West side of the lake, assembling the pier structures.
It cost just over five million dollars for Alberta-based Westcorp Properties Inc. to complete the project.
Westcorp spokesperson Gail Temple says the floating pier is the first of its kind for Okanagan Lake.
"There is no public parking lot for boats on the lake," Temple says, with only restaurants and hotels currently offering a place for people to dock their watercraft.
"It will be a place where you can come and pay a little money and put up your boat,” she says, adding even those not waterbound can enjoy the public, waterfront space it offers.
Today crews will be driving piles on all side of the pier, anchoring it into its new home adjacent to the Sails sculpture by Kerry Park.
In the coming weeks passersby will notice the boardwalk filling out. A walkout platform and rental boat barge are the next pieces to float in place.
While progress will be evident, the pier won't be open to the public until September. A 30-foot wide terminus, shaped like the end of a hockey stick, won't arrive until after the Labor Day weekend.
The public pier along with the new commercial pier, also built by Westcorp, are part of a larger effort to revitalize downtown Kelowna.
Westcorp is also planning to build a new hotel just behind Kerry park on Water Street and was recently granted a development permit to build a $150 million tourist-commercial centre in the Mission.
To contact the reporter for this story, email Julie Whittet at email@example.com or call (250) 718-0428.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013