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Here's why helicopters are buzzing Grouse Mountain

If you’ve been wondering what’s up with all the chopper traffic in North Vancouver lately.… 🚁
Heli-logging pilots remove a downed tree from the edge of Grouse Mountain in North Vancouver on Tuesday, March 14. | Bob Mackin

Helicopters will be buzzing and trees will be falling for the next few weeks as Grouse Mountain replaces a major piece of infrastructure.

Crews from North Construction have started the next phase of a project to install a new 2.5 kilometre sanitary sewer line and buried high-voltage cables from the resort’s chalet to the top of Skyline Drive.

For the next three weeks, helicopters will be shuttling felled trees out of the right of way, which goes from the top of Skyline to the bottom of the Screaming Eagle chairlift.

The original sanitary line is prone to clogs and breaks, said project supervisor Fredric Sjoberg, and needs to be replaced.

Residents have already seen, or certainly heard, the helicopter activity in the Montroyal neighbourhood. Sjoberg said they need to clear trees and brush before they can dig up and replace the original line. The work will happen Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., he said.

“It’s just very technical, because it’s steep terrain and it’s a very narrow right of way that we have to work with,” he said. “This is by far the more challenging part.”

The Skyline Trail will be fully closed until the fall, as are a series of smaller informal trails.

North Construction will have flaggers posted at the trails to keep people from meandering into dangerous areas.

“We are trying to encourage them, if they’re coming here regularly, to maybe try to find a different area to hike on a day-to-day basis, just for their own safety,” he said.

The entire project will likely last until 2024.

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