Marine Drive lane closure in White Rock for restaurant patios begins Monday

Jun 5 2021, 7:15 am

The westbound lane of Marine Drive on White Rock’s waterfront will temporarily close starting on Monday, June 7 to provide struggling restaurants along the retail strip with expanded patio space.

Marine Drive will remain partially open with a single lane dedicated to eastbound-only travel between Vidal Street and Maple Street. Two lanes in the eastbound direction will be retained for the residential segment of the street known as “the hump” to maintain access to street parking.

This traffic configuration accommodating patios will remain in place until the provincial government allows restaurants to operate at 100% indoor seating capacity, but no later than the end of September 2021.

Temporary orange-coloured, water-filled traffic barriers will physically separate the westbound lane with patios from the eastbound lane with vehicles to establish a safe experience for pedestrians, diners, and vehicles.

With the westbound direction closed, the municipal government is urging drivers to use alternate routes to reach the waterfront businesses and beach areas.

marine drive white rock waterfront closure

Marine Drive temporary configuration, Summer 2021. (City of White Rock)

Detours will be established via Maple Street to Victoria Avenue and Columbia Avenue or via Stayte Road and parallel east-west streets to the north. Visitors to Marine Drive are encouraged to park at the West Beach Parkade at Vidal Street and Victoria Avenue to avoid congestion.

TransLink will also be rerouting buses that normally travel on Marine Drive.

“As we close in on what we hope is the end of the pandemic, our Marine Drive restaurants are struggling during the warm weather season when they should be their busiest,” said White Rock mayor Darryl Walker in a statement.

“I want to thank the residents for your patience and co-operation as we work together to keep our Waterfront vibrant, I want to recognize our emergency responders who work together to ensure White Rock continues to be safe, and I want to also thank the White Rock BIA and South Surrey and White Rock Chamber of Commerce for being a champion for local businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

marine drive white rock

Businesses along Marine Drive in White Rock. (Google Maps)

City council approved the closure of the westbound lane in a meeting last month, and the start date of the temporary changes was announced this week.

The temporary lane closure is expected carry a one-time installation cost of $50,000 and an equipment rental cost of about $40,000 per month. These costs will be fully covered by a portion of the provincial government’s COVID-19 Safe Restart Grant to the municipal government.

Restaurants seeking to set-up a patio on the westbound lane are required to submit an application to the municipal government. The fee for the expedited application process is waived.

There are dozens of restaurant-based businesses clustered closely together along Marine Drive’s commercial segments, creating a “restaurant row” for the White Rock waterfront.

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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