Work begins on Creekside underpass 

Traffic will slow to 30 kilometres per hour through Creekside over the next five months as Intrawest starts a long-awaited project to realign Whistler Creek.

Set to begin in less than two weeks, the company is scooping out a hole under the highway, providing a link between the east and west sides of Creekside.

The hollowed out passage will realign Whistler Creek so it can flow in a straight line from the north side of The Legends under the highway to Beaver Flats, where it will join up with Little Whistler Creek.

Rerouting Whistler Creek will effectively accommodate the flood flows of that waterway.

"It’s always been a concern for us," said Joe Paul, manager of development services in the municipality’s engineering department.

"Right now the alignment is not as good as it could be.

"Under the current regime Whistler Creek turns south and goes through a few culverts by the Husky."

Another bonus to the project is that Creekside residents won’t have to make the mad dash across the highway anymore because the Valley Trail will run next to the creek under the highway.

"This completes one of the last segments of the Valley Trail system," said Paul.

"You’ll be able to take the Valley Trail from the new Spring Creek school to Emerald."

The complicated project will span the summer months and is scheduled to wrap up by mid-September.

In order to dig under the highway, Intrawest must build a bridge at the highway level to support the construction. The bridge will go in close to the London Lane intersection, next to the PetroCanada station.

"The strange thing about this bridge... is usually when you build a bridge you’re building it over something," said Matt Portman, land development manager with the Intrawest Resort Development Group.

"This is not an overpass like you would see at Nordic... It’s on grade with the highway so there will be no difference to your drive over London Lane, other than a minor realignment," added Portman.

Intrawest is building a separate road on the PetroCanada side of the highway to accommodate the construction work

"What we’re trying to do is just mimic the highway," said Portman.

"In order for us to mitigate the impact on traffic we’re spending the money to build this extra road."

Portman said drivers will have to reduce their speeds going through the construction zone but there are not likely to be any major delays or traffic stoppages.

"There’s a reduced speed through construction zones as is but you experience the most traffic backup when you limit your traffic to one lane, where you have alternating traffic flow," explained Portman.

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