News » Whistler

Costs climb for debris barrier, paving parking lots

Revenue from pay parking expected to fund transit affordability program



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According to Barratt, approximately $500,000 a year that will go towards the transit affordability program to encourage residents to take transit through reduced bus fares.

“For example, a monthly pass costs $50 currently. Maybe, through the program, we could bring it down to $20,” said Barratt.

“We do not know exactly what form that will take, but the intent is to put it towards affordability programs through transit passes.”

A request for tenders to upgrade the three day skier parking lots and Lot 4 access road has been issued, and six local contractors have shown interest in working on the project. Until the bids are received, the exact construction schedule will not be known. However, Hallisey confirmed that the municipality is not going to close down the entire parking lot for any length of time.

“Essentially, Lot 1 will probably be closed for two weeks and half of Lot 2 or half of Lot 3, and things like that, and they (the contractors) are going to have to come up with a plan to keep as much of it open as possible,” he said.

Hallisey added that if the contractors do close down a large portion of the parking, it will be in the middle of the week and it will not be during peak tourist times, like the middle of summer.

The municipality only acquired the day skier parking lots from the B.C. government earlier this year. As part of the deal, the municipality is required to build the debris barrier, part of the effort to mitigate the Fitzsimmons landslip, before the 2010 Games.

When the deal was signed, there was speculation that the Fitzsimmons debris barrier might be delayed until after the Olympics because of high construction costs. The municipality’s position has been that if the project is too expensive, it would not have to move forward until it made financial sense.

At this point, however, it looks like the barrier could be built before the Games.

Hallisey said the request for tender will be released in about 10 days, and the municipality would like to see work on the debris barrier begin as soon as this fall.

“There is a lot of work to be done there, and it has been quite challenging to get everything done on time. We really need to do some preliminary work there this fall, and it is definitely a bit of a challenge,” he said, referring to the conditions associated with the landslip.