Nancy Greene Drive bridge to close starting July 2 

New White Gold bridge to protect against flooding

The main entrance to the White Gold neighbourhood will be closed starting July 2 so that crews can replace the bridge that takes you there.

The Nancy Greene Drive bailey bridge, a temporary structure located at the entrance to the White Gold subdivision, will close until Sept. 15 so that a new bridge that will help prevent flooding can be installed.

Vancouver-based Cressey Development Corporation, the company that’s building the Fitzsimmons Walk development, is funding construction of the new bridge.

Those looking to access White Gold during this time will be diverted to the Spruce Grove Bridge, which is located approximately 600 metres north and just off Highway 99.

The bailey bridge at Nancy Greene Drive was installed after a devastating flood in September 1991. The provincial Inspector of Dikes has identified it as a constraint on the “design flood profile” for the portion of Fitzsimmons Creek where it’s located.

“Design flood profile” is a technical term used to describe the standards for flood protection for a mountain creek, and the current bridge is causing problems for the design flood profile because it is too close to the creek.

“The footings of the bridge are very close to the flowing water,” said Brian Barnett, general manager of environmental services for the Resort Municipality of Whistler. “The new bridge will have that further set back from the water, it’ll be a longer bridge.”

The bailey bridge will be replaced with a 40-metre, clear span bridge. It will be big enough to accommodate automobile traffic and a pedestrian walkway, according to Barnett.

Other repairs near the bridge will include upgrading approximately 240 metres of the White Gold training berm located near some homes at Fitzsimmons North.

The new bridge and dike improvements will be designed to hold up against a one in 200-year flood, and will result in improved flood protection for the White Gold and Spruce Grove subdivisions, according to a news release.

A “one in 200 year flood” is the minimum criteria used to define a flood risk area in British Columbia — literally, a flood that has one chance in 200 of being equaled or exceeded in a given year, according to Environment Canada.

Other changes will include a Valley Trail paralleling Nancy Greene Drive from Fitzsimmons Road to the pedestrian-activated signal at Highway 99. There will be lighting installed along the trail and overhead hydro and telephone lines along Nancy Greene Drive will be placed underground, according to a news release.

Residents living along the Fitzsimmons Creek training berm have already been told about the closures, and road closure signs have been placed on all approaches leading to the bridge.

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