The retaining wall at the foot of Queensway and Bernard Avenue in downtown Kelowna is being eroded by the water in Okanagan Lake. (Capital News file)

Retaining wall around popular Kelowna walkway chipping away with rising water

A fix has been approved by Kelowna council.

Eroding walls separating a popular downtown walkway from the beach will soon be repaired with Kelowna city council approving an $86,000 fix.

Andrew Gibbs, the city’s infrastructure project manager, told council Monday the retaining wall at the end of Queensway and Bernard Avenue, at Kerry Park, is old and when water rises it seeps under and eats away at the structure.

“We’ve had two successive floods and it’s causing more voids,” said Gibbs, adding that ground penetrating radar shows staff the damage isn’t drastic, but it’s time “to get in there.”

The damage is near the Sails sculpture, and the aim is to get the work done before spring run-off raises the lake level.

Necessary approvals from the provincial government have already been obtained.

Funds will be taken from a municipal reserve account so the project won’t have an impact on taxation.

Gibbs told council the work would have been done alongside plans to upgrade Kerry Park, but that work isn’t even in the current 10-year capital plan, so it’s going to be done ahead of schedule.

That $3.8-million plan to redevelop Kerry Park received preliminary approval in 2016 and was supposed to get underway by 2019.

Key elements of the Kerry Park redevelopment include moving the Ogopogo statue from its current location next to the Sails to a waterfront spot behind the visitor information centre at the base of Queensway.

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