New road alignment to The Peaks 

Work on the access road to The Peaks, Intrawest's large-house subdivision above Creekside, will begin in April, but revised plans approved Monday should make the road and construction less obtrusive.

The revised route should be less visible than the one proposed when the Whistler South Comprehensive Development Strategy was approved in the fall of 1999. It will also require less fill and the volume of cutting and blasting has been reduced by 64 per cent. Those changes will mean fewer dump trucks travelling through Bayshores and the Creekside area this summer.

The new plans also reduced the amount of disturbed area by one hectare. The revised road now crosses creeks three times instead of five and provides more opportunities to revegetate the fill slopes.

The original road alignment was done from aerial photographs. The new alignment came about after on-site work by Intrawest Resort Development Group and its consultants.

The 2 kilometre access road to the 60-lot subdivision will be accessed through the Bayshores subdivision. Preliminary reports at the time the Whistler South CDS was approved suggested the road will cost about $5 million to build.

A new traffic light will be installed on Highway 99 at the entrance to Bayshores as part of The Peaks development.

Whistler goes after funding

Whistler is applying for federal/provincial infrastructure funding for two projects, the $19 million wastewater treatment plant upgrade and renovations to the conference centre.

The federal and provincial governments announced another round of infrastructure grants just before Christmas. The funding is expected to stimulate construction of $800 million in infrastructure improvements over the next five years. The deadline to apply for the first round of funding is March 15.

It is expected funding for selected projects will be one-third federal, one-third provincial and one-third municipal.

While the library-museum, a village transportation centre, sewers for the west side of the valley, water and wastewater reduction initiatives and a SCADA system for sewer and water systems are all being considered for future grant applications, the wastewater treatment plant upgrade and the conference centre renovations are the highest priority projects that can make the March 15 deadline.

The conference centre renovations were estimated to cost $7 million two years ago. While Tourism Whistler staff will be writing the conference centre application, the municipality will make the official application and, if the application is accepted, would receive the funding.

Brian Barnett, acting director of Public Works, told council that typically these types of programs are over-subscribed but the guidelines for applying for funding are very clear and both the wastewater treatment plant upgrade and the conference centre renovations meet the criteria.

Under terms of the 1993 Liquid Waste Management Plan, the second upgrade to the wastewater treatment plant must be completed by 2004. The plan includes completion of improvements to facilities for solids treatment and handling, a biological liquid treatment upgrade, a disinfection system upgrade, and construction of a full odour control system. The budget for the project includes $800,000 in 2001, $9.2 million in 2002 and $9 million in 2003.

The conference centre renovations include improving the energy efficiency of the building, as well as telecommunications upgrades and redesign of the entrance and interior space.

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