Valley Trail to Function on hold 

Logistics still to be worked out

Planning continues on a proposed trail that would link the Valley Trail at Alpha Lake Park to Function Junction, but due to budget constraints the link is no longer considered a priority.

"We’ve not given up on it," said Keith Bennett, general manager of parks and recreation. "What we’ve done, because we’re having a hard time trying to balance the books, is to push construction of the trail out to 2010 or 2011.

"There were a couple of reasons. As I’ve mentioned one is financial, but we’re also looking ahead at the timing of the project. When the athletes village turns into employee housing, that’s when we’re really going to need that trail."

In the 2005 budget the RMOW set aside money to investigate the feasibility of the trail, but there was no mention of the project in the Resort Municipality of Whistler’s draft five year plan released last month.

"There’s still ongoing work, there are a few land issues to solve, we have a few logistical issues to work out with CN Rail. All of the planning is still going forward, but construction has been pushed past the five year plan," said Bennett.

Last week council agreed to increase the maximum sale price of 30 proposed employee housing apartments in Function Junction, and construction is expected to start no later than July 1. An unknown number of people already live in the industrial park, some of them illegally.

People already commute on the old Millar Creek Road, bypassing the longer highway route, but the trail is prone to flooding and occasional work by CN and B.C. Hydro.

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