Whistler commuters will soon be able to cruise from Emerald Estates south to Cheakamus Crossing along the winding Valley Trail.
Last week, the Resort Municipality of Whistler issued their Request for Proposal (RFP) for a company to work on the final stretch of narrow black top between Spring Creek and Cheakamus Crossing.
The tender deadline is June 17, with construction crews likely on site by the end of July.
"It is the last piece of the Valley Trail from the new Cheakamus Crossing neighbourhood to Emerald," said Dave Patterson, manager of parks and village operations for the municipality. "We are making that last final link to the whole thing."
To complete the project, the municipality has hired the Port Coquitlam based contractor Paragon Engineering Ltd.
According to Patterson, this particular section of trail is exceptionally tricky because of its steep grades.
It follows the single track currently through the area, although it will head uphill closer to the highway to navigate some rocky outcrops. The trail then descends into the Interpretive Forest parking lot to connect to Cheakamus Crossing, with lots of switchbacks so riders can loose elevation more gradually.
"To put it out to tender you need a design to bid from, and we do not have that ability in-house to put those drawings together," said Patterson.
Approximately $723,00 has been budgeted for the project, along with $200,000 to add lighting next year.
Work will involve clearing and grubbing, rock removal, excavating and paving, as well as installing culverts, manholes, electrical conduits and light bases. The municipality is also still waiting for final permission from the Bear Ridge Strata in Spring Creek, which Patterson hopes to have within the next couple weeks.
Depending on the weather, bicyclists can expect to zip along the finished stretch of valley trail sometime between August and October this year, said Patterson.
"Hopefully there are no fire issues because we would be stopped (from building) in that situation," he explained. "If we had a really bad July and August, you may not see the project completed this year."
For more information on the RFP or the valley trail project, visit the municipality's website at www.whistler.ca.