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Lake Placid Road upgrade decision delayed yet again

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Will Lake Placid road finally see an upgrade this summer? Creekside merchants will have to wait another three weeks for an answer to that question.

The municipality’s Steve Black said making a decision on whether any work in that area will proceed this year has been pushed back a further three weeks. He says, however, if the project receives the nod from council, there will still be time to go out to tender and get the work done within the 2001 construction window. "It does get tighter and tighter as we go but we can do a lot in a real short period of time," he said.

Merchants have been calling for basic improvements to the section of Lake Placid Road from the Husky gas station down past Hoz’s for the last seven years.

There is $850,000 sitting in municipal coffers for the upgrade to be done this year and there is money available form B.C. Hydro to help with the work, but as yet, there have been no calls for tender.

Councillor Kristi Wells, who has spoken out in support of Creekside merchants in the past, said in April this year that it was uncertain as to whether the project, or a version of it, would proceed at all this year.

She said a spanner was thrown in the works when Intrawest delayed its plans for road work on the portion of Lake Placid road above the Highway until 2002. "It was budgeted for this year. I certainly support it and there were no other thoughts around not doing it until Intrawest changed their plans, again," she said.

For the last three years the upgrade has been delayed in order to co-ordinate with the Intrawest re-alignment of the Highway 99/Lake Placid intersection.

The original plans for the upgrade, drawn up several years ago, included curbs, gutters, sidewalks and underground wiring.

Merchants have argued that the road, with its high volume of pedestrians and traffic, is currently unsafe without streetlights and sidewalks. "This has nothing to do with the development across the street (at the Creekside Base)," said Gord McKeever of the Creekside Merchants’ Association earlier this year. "It has everything to do with current use. That is the whole point. Because it has been neglected for 20 years it has become a big deal but what needs doing here is the basic stuff. The fancy stuff can come after." McKeever said the lack of planning in Creekside is "so shoddy it wouldn’t survive a minute anywhere else in the valley. You try and pull these stunts in the Benchlands and you would be handed your head in a hat."

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