Development costs soar at new subdivision

The cost of roadwork to accommodate the new Whitehorse Copper subdivision has increased more than 300 per cent. Upgrading the intersection at Mt.

The cost of roadwork to accommodate the new Whitehorse Copper subdivision has increased more than 300 per cent.

Upgrading the intersection at Mt. Sima road and building two new intersections will now cost $2.4 million, up from $740,000, said Eric Magnuson, an assistant deputy minister with Community Services.

New rules for intersections emerging from a study of Whitehorse highways are behind the increased cost, said Magnuson.

The road safety audit was prompted by several collisions in the Rabbits’ Foot Canyon area.

The accidents led some to question the safety of the highway, said the 34-page report that was completed September 2006.

A second report detailing the possible hazards of access roads to the new Whitehorse Copper subdivision was released on February 28.

Safety would not be greatly compromised by the access roads, which included right-turn declaration lanes.

However, safety could be improved through the inclusion of left-turn or bypass lanes.

The report also recommended warning signs and other traffic-control devices.

The reports represent a higher safety standard, said Robin Walsh, director of transportation engineering with Highways and Public Works.

“There will be some higher costs for intersection work, but it’s not something we’re going to do everywhere.

“It’s done on a case-by-case basis.

“Most of the problems with high traffic volumes only exist in the Whitehorse area.”

However, even with the extra work required by the new standards, Walsh considers the $2.4-million figure, “a little high.”

The extra development costs won’t be coming out of the government’s budget, said Magnuson.

“When we priced the lots we wanted to make sure that our pricing was somewhere around market so that we weren’t undercutting private developers,” he said.

“This just means that the Whitehorse Copper subdivision, which was priced above cost so as not to affect market prices, will no longer end up making any money – it’s a break-even proposition.”

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