The District of Kitimat has secured vital grant funding for the recreational dock at Minette Bay West Park, but the long wait for the funds has delayed the project’s completion until early 2025.
Last month, the province announced a $700,000 grant from the Destination Development Fund for constructing the dock, a central feature of the park, to give the public much-needed waterfront access.
The district is already in possession of the dock structure and gangway, but must complete the engineering design for the mooring piles and the gangway’s connection to the causeway before tendering the project. Construction is scheduled between November next year and February 2025.
District project manager Kevin Carlson said he understands the delay is unfortunate, but it’s necessary.
“There’s a best-practice window for working in water, typically in the winter months. If we worked outside that period, we’d need a different approach to environmental permitting. This timing minimizes impact on aquatic life,” he said.
Once installed, the dock will mark the completion of Minette Bay West Park, culminating a nine-year process that began in 2016 with extensive planning and consultation with Kitimat residents and the Haisla Nation. After geotechnical, archaeological, and wildlife assessments, construction of the access road, parking lot, causeway, water access, and signage was completed by 2019. The pandemic caused delays, but the park now features interpretive and wayfinding signage, a shelter, picnic tables, fire pits, a floating dock, toilets, and a trail loop.
The park’s development, aligning with Kitimat’s strategic plans, aims to balance the town’s industrial character with environmental conservation and recreational opportunities.