COURTENAY, B.C- Tubers on the Courtenay River will be using new stairs next summer.

According to a notice from the city government, the stairs at Lewis Park are getting upgraded. Work will begin on both the north and south river accesses, with the two staircases getting replaced with prefabricated aluminum structures, including stairs at the north end of the park and a platform at the south.

“During construction crews will work on only one river access at a time, leaving the other river access available for public use,” read the release.

“Access to the paved pedestrian pathway on the west side of Lewis Park will be affected, and pedestrians will be detoured around the work zone.”

The work was scheduled and approved in coordination with the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the provincial Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations.

The project is meant to improve river access in one of the city’s most popular swimming areas.

“This is a high traffic area for swimmers, and the old concrete stairs have reached the end of their lifespan,” said Mike Kearns, the City of Courtenay’s Manager of Parks.

“We had hoped to have this project completed last year, but due to challenges in finding a contractor the work had to be postponed. We’re very pleased that the stair replacement is now underway so the public can enjoy easier access to the river.”