New 130-metre suspension bridge to be built atop Whistler Mountain
Whistler Blackcomb will soon break ground on a 130-metre suspension bridge atop Whistler Mountain.
The bridge will span from the Peak Chair across part of Whistler Bowl and end at West Ridge. At an elevation of around 2,000 metres, officials believe it could rest at the highest spot of any suspension bridge in North America.
“As far as we know, it would be the highest above-sea-level suspension bridge in North America,” Rob McSkimming, Whistler Blackcomb’s vice-president of development, said.
“Our hope is that it will add to people’s experience. If it does that then I’m sure they’ll be more interested in coming back.”
The resort will also be moving ahead with an expansion of the Whistler Mountain Bike Park.
The bridge and park expansion are part of the resort’s $345-million Renaissance project, which includes a series of attractions and activities such as a year-round, indoor water-play centre at the upper base of Blackcomb Mountain.
The project comes as the municipality is trying to tackle transportation problems with an action plan to tackle infrastructure for walking and biking, transit and parking.
For the first time, the municipality will ask the resort to help fund its transit needs.
“We’ve just said ‘look, we’d like you to institute paid parking in your free lots and dedicate those funds, over and above what they’re operating costs are, to transit,” Whistler Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden said.
Many businesses are excited about the expansion plans, but are concerned about housing and transportation.
“My concern is staffing, really,” Will Naylor, owner of Base Bikes, said. “Do we have enough accommodations in the town to meet the needs of staff and for locals?”
The municipality says its talks with the resorts are in the very early stages.
— With files from Grace Ke and Yuliya Talmazan
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