The Village of Pemberton (VOP) received a financial boost from the province Tuesday, to be put towards a bridge that will stretch across Pemberton Creek to One Mile Lake.
Joan McIntyre, the MLA for West Vancouver-Garibaldi made her first official trip to VOP council since her 2005 election to announce $49,555 in funding for the bridge, which will cover half of its cost.
The money comes out of the provincial “LocalMotion” program, one of four programs announced by Premier Gordon Campbell at a 2006 meeting of the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM). The program is putting $40 million towards capital projects such as bike paths, walkways and greenways in various communities.
“We’ve been asking municipalities to look at the way they’re designing communities and the ways they’re looking at building pedestrian-friendly ways of commuting around the community, and also obviously ways of reducing greenhouse gases,” McIntyre said at the announcement.
The provincial funding represents a large portion of the approximately $100,000 it will take to build the pedestrian bridge, a project that Mayor Jordan Sturdy said has been in the works for years. The rest will be rounded out by revenues the VOP collects from taxes.
“It’s something that the village has been pursuing for quite a number of years, and it’s going to be a great addition for the community,” he said.
Once built, the bridge will also provide access to an interpretive centre to be located in One Mile Park.
But that wasn’t the only funding that McIntyre had up her sleeve.
She also announced a grant of $52,111 for the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District to be put towards development of the Sea to Sky Trail between Pemberton and Mount Currie, just one step on the way to extending the trail up to D’Arcy.
“It’s not just about getting people off the road, it’s the first leg to connecting Mount Currie and Pemberton, so we’re really thrilled about that,” Susie Gimse, a director of the SLRD, said at the announcement. “Obviously there’s a ways to go yet, but we’ll need to start somewhere.”
The Sea to Sky Trail is an ongoing project that aims to develop a multi-user trail from Horseshoe Bay up to Lillooet and beyond. The first phase of the project was slated to start at a new waterfront development in Squamish and wind up through Whistler, Pemberton and Mount Currie up to Anderson Lake.
This funding, however, will be concentrated on the stretch between Pemberton and Mount Currie.
“It’s not just getting people out of their cars, it’s connecting communities,” Gimse said.