Getting around Whistler via Valley Trail is about to get even easier.
Three new connections are in progress and will add "significant length" to the 40-kilometre paved trail that already connects many local neighbourhoods, the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) announced in a release on Tuesday, July 30.
Upon completion, they will link the non-motorized path system to Function Junction, Twin Lakes/Tamarisk and Alta Lake Road.
"These three new linkages will fill in some of the last remaining gaps in our incredible Valley Trail system," said Whistler mayor Jack Crompton in the release.
"Once the work is finished, you will be able to walk or bike from Function Junction to Emerald and around the entire circumference of Alta Lake. Thank you to the Province of British Columbia through its Resort Municipality Initiative (RMI) for making this improvement to Whistler's active transportation infrastructure possible."
-Function Junction to Twin Lakes/Tamarisk: This addition to the trail will span 1.8 kilometres, linking Function Junction to Alta Lake Road in Twin Lakes/Tamarisk. The new linkage will make use of two new concrete bridges that have been completed over Millar and Sproatt Creeks. The trail will pass through the Prism lands recently acquired by the RMOW, while lighting will be added for night-time use. This section is expected to be complete by summer 2020.
-Twin Lakes/Tamarisk to Bayshores: A 900-metre section of Valley Trail will be added along Alta Lake Road in Twin Lakes/Tamarisk to Highway 99, where the new trail will join up with the existing Valley Trail at Bayshores. The expected completion date for this portion of the project is also summer 2020.
-Alta Lake Road: A new 1.4-kilometre section of paved trail will link Rainbow Park to Old Mill Lane (near the Alta Lake Station House). "This linkage will run along the far side of Alta Lake Road," explained the RMOW in the release. This section of the trail is slated to be complete by fall 2020.
The new sections of Valley Trail are being paired with sewer upgrades—they will sit above new sewer lines—according to the release.
The planned expansion is part of the RMOW's larger effort to reduce the community's climate footprint, in this case by making lower-carbon transportation choices like walking or riding a bike more attractive to residents and visitors.
The Valley Trail was developed in the 1980s and continues to be managed by the RMOW. According to the release, sections of the Valley Trail close to the Village regularly see over 300,000 users per year.