The Resort Municipality of Whistler is advancing construction on several priority projects for community infrastructure and utilities, following a delayed start to the spring construction season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Construction on several projects began earlier this month, and other projects will commence in the coming weeks based on the 2020 budget amendment approved by Council. The budget amendment occurred following a thorough review of operations and projects against the backdrop of COVID-19’s short and longer term impacts to the community, with the overall 2020 budget reduced from $97 million to $86 million.
All construction will occur in accordance with the BC Provincial guidelines for COVID-19, with safe working practices implemented at all sites, during all stages of the projects.
View detailed construction information, including budgets, timeline, locations and impacts at whistler.ca/ConstructionTracker.
Public Washroom Buildings
Construction has started on two permanent, public washroom buildings at Whistler Olympic Plaza and Lost Lake PassivHaus. Both buildings are 100 per cent funded through the Province of British Columbia's Resort Municipality Initiative (RMI) and will improve the guest experience. A third public washroom building is planned for Gateway Loop, but has been deferred until further notice.
Publicly accessible washrooms throughout the village are important amenities to serve our guests and community. There are a number of municipal and privately owned washrooms that are available to the public throughout the village, and these new washrooms will add to the much needed supply. Access to washrooms is now even more important during COVID-19 times.
Both new washroom sites will have a contained construction footprint to minimize the impact to the surrounding area, with pedestrian re-routes during the construction period. The project is employing 15 Sea to Sky trade companies, supporting jobs and aiding in local economic recovery.
The washroom buildings are anticipated to be opened for use in spring 2021.
Learn more at whistler.ca/washrooms.
Valley Trail linkage and maintenance
The Valley Trail will see a long-awaited upgrade this year with a new linkage built between Millar Creek and Function Junction. The three-metre-wide, 1.8-kilometre paved trail will be a valuable amenity for the neighbourhoods in south Whistler, linking Function Junction to the rest of Whistler. LED lighting will also be installed to encourage night-time use. Construction will begin in early June and continue until the fall. The trail will be closed during construction. Work on the new linkage is being paired with sewer upgrades, since the new section sits above sewer lines. The Function Junction Valley Trail linkage is 100 per cent funded through RMI.
In addition, several small sections of the Valley Trail will be repaved over the course of the summer and fall. There will be little disruption to the public, although a 50-metre section of trail in Lost Lake near the special events area and main lawn will require a two-day closure in June. An improvement to the Valley Trail at the gateway out of Whistler Village near the Whistler Golf Club is also planned for the fall. This includes widening the existing sidewalk to three metres, improving LED lighting and improving crossings on the existing road near the clubhouse.
Learn more at whistler.ca/valleytrail.
Parks and Trails Improvements
As part of the RMOW’s annual parks and trails improvement work, several initiatives are planned to move forward in 2020. Many of these are funded through the Province of BC’s RMI program or Municipal and Regional District Tax (Hotel Tax).
- Western toad underpass built under Cedar Way Trail at Lost Lake to aid with the toad’s annual migration (to be installed in June).
- Tennis and pickleball court resurfacing at Myrtle Philip (to be completed in June).
- More water bottle filling stations installed in Whistler’s parks to replace old water fountains (to be completed in June).
- Compost collection added to park waste and recycling bins to divert up to 60 per cent additional waste from the landfill (to be installed between June and August).
- Wayside dock accessibility improvements including transitions and installation of a mobility lift (to be installed in the summer).
- New signage installed at Lost Lake for main pedestrian and cycling route, as well as for Nordic skiing, and at Bayly Park and Spruce Grove Park.
- Alpine Trail enhancements, including safety and interpretive signage, increased monitoring with wildlife cameras and trail counters, relocation of the Himmelsbach Hut, installation of a viewing platform at the top of Happy Hour, and installation of an outhouse at the top of Into the Mystic (to be completed in the summer and fall.)
- Trail improvements, including erosion control, at North Flank Trail, Loggers Lake Ridge Trail and Lost Lake main trails (to be completed in the summer and fall).
- Refurbishment of 25 interpretive panels as part of a multi-year project (2018-22) to ensure curatorial consistency for Whistler’s collection of 125 interpretive panels (to be installed in the summer and fall.)
Whistler’s public Electric Vehicle (EV) charging network is expanding with fourteen dual-port stations to be installed in strategic locations, including Day Lots 1, 2 and 4, and Conference Centre Lot A. This important climate action and infrastructure work was made possible thanks to funding from Natural Resources Canada and the provincial Climate Action Revenue Incentive Program, covering 50 percent of the EV charging station installation cost.
Additional Day Lot 4 improvements include:
- Formalizing existing unmarked parking spaces along the south edge of the lot
- Installation of lighting along the south edge of the lot
- Improving safety of the south entrance with lighting and clearer sight lines
- Updating the storm water system
Visit whistler.ca/ParkingUpgrades for more information.
Pedestrian improvements and paving
Road paving and pedestrian improvements proceeding this summer were carefully considered to preserve Whistler’s road network and enhance safety. The roads and neighborhoods identified for repaving this summer include Nester’s Road and Main Street. Nesters Road between Lorimer Road and Nancy Greene Drive will be re-paved and a new designated at-grade pedestrian pathway will be created.
This project is funded through the Transportation Works Charges Reserve Fund, through the works and service fees charged to new development. These fees are used for improvements to infrastructure, since development leads to an increase in the demand for water, sewer, transportation, recreation and employee housing.
Visit whistler.ca/paving for updates.
Water and sewer maintenance
Phase 1 of the Alta Vista services upgrade project began in mid-May to upgrade essential water, sewer and storm water infrastructure in the Alta Vista neighborhood. The project also includes improvements to storm water drainage, roads and the Valley Trail as part of Phase 2 in 2021. Alta Vista neighborhood residents can expect traffic disruptions and advance notice of scheduled water outages during construction. Learn more at whistler.ca/AltaVistaUpgrades.
Whistler’s sanitary sewer system will be upgraded this summer, including relining and manhole work, to provide reliable wastewater management for residents and visitors. The areas of work include Village Gate Boulevard manhole and the Blueberry neighborhood portion of the Valley Trail between Highway 99 and the Whistler Golf Course. This portion of the Valley Trail will be closed in late summer and a detour will be in place along the Valley Trail east of Highway 99. Village Gate Boulevard manhole upgrade impacts will include traffic disruptions and a detour along Lorimer Road. Construction will occur overnight as much as possible to minimize daytime road closures. Learn more at whistler.ca/SewerRelining.
Additional work to maintain essential water and wastewater infrastructure is planned for the coming months. This include upgrades to the Crabapple and Spruce Grove sewer lift stations and Baxter’s Reservoir (now called Gondola Way reservoir).
More information about each of these projects will be shared as work commences.