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Creekside summer facelift gets underway

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Improvements to Lake Placid Road head summer construction work

The Lake Placid Road upgrades currently tearing up the asphalt in Whistler's original neighbourhood are sparking a flurry of construction work in Creekside over the summer months.

Despite dust, noise and inconvenience, the heavy road machinery is a welcome sight for some.

"The visual impact (of the machinery) was tremendous and very exciting," said Gordon McKeever, chair of the Whistler Creek Merchants Association.

From a new Valley Trail, an improved highway intersection, a realigned creek and a brand-new Husky gas station, Creekside is getting a much-needed facelift this summer.

"Our goal plain and simple ... is to establish and maintain the validity of Whistler Creek as a viable component of the Whistler resort," said McKeever, who also owns the Whistler Resort and Club in Creekside.

The Lake Placid Road improvements, which include better water lines, a new sanitary main, underground duct work from BC Hydro and Telus, a new road surface, and a trail/sidewalk, are vital to entice business and development to the south side of Whistler, said McKeever.

For half a dozen years now the Association has been campaigning for the rehabilitation of Lake Placid Road.

Tired of open ditches, no sidewalks, dark streets and potholes older than Whistler itself, the Association was determined to get the municipality to make the much-needed upgrades.

Last Monday marked the end of the campaign season and the start of a summer season of construction.

For business owners like McKeever this summer has been a long time in coming.

"What we’re talking about is basic stuff," he said.

"Stuff that would be very normal in any community in B.C. on a street that had all that activity that this street has."

The street is the main access road to hundreds of residences, a couple of restaurants and hotels, a beer and wine store, and a train station, among many other things.

Throughout Whistler's early years Creekside residents and merchants, like other residents in other Whistler neighbourhoods, were willing to forgo development in their neighbourhood for the sake of the bigger resort picture.

That being the case, a large percentage of the resort's resources were funnelled back into the development of the village and its infrastructure as well as the park system.

"We had a big task," said McKeever.

"We had to build this big resort. Now it's time to look back to the rest of the community and start applying a bit of TLC that's been neglected for a couple of decades."

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