NEW WESTMINSTER (NEWS1130) – It’s ready for a big public unveiling; You can get your first look at the $25.1-million Westminster Pier Park this weekend.

It’s been a major undertaking, transforming 600 metres of the New Westminster waterfront from an abandoned industrial site into an inviting park. Jim Lowrie, the city’s director of engineering, says it took a major cleanup.

“Remediation efforts required the excavation of about 3,500 tonnes of contaminated soils and removal of contaminated sediments,” explains Lowrie. “An underground containment wall was constructed to contain contaminated groundwater.”

Two thirds of the project was paid for by the federal and provincial governments, while the city picked up the rest.

Much of the park between 4th and 6th Streets has been built out over the Fraser River on pilings. Lowrie tells us the design also honours the city’s past.

“We’ve tried to recognize the former historical uses on the site. A portion of the site has been built to replicate the former Lytton Square which was the first formal market in New Westminster, going back to the late 1800s,” he suggests.

He adds the property was previously used as a shipping terminal, and was also home to milling and warehousing operations.

Grand Opening celebrations run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday.  The party will include several specialty food carts, and family-focused entertainment.