In 2006, Squamish-Lillooet Regional District received a $331,000 grant from Northern Development through the Economic Diversification Infrastructure program towards this $1,085,000 project. This has been a funding partnership of Squamish-Lillooet Regional District, Northern Development, Canada / BC Infrastructure Program, and Gold Bridge (Unincorporated)
2012- The Squamish-Lillooet Regional District invested over $1 million to upgrading the water system for the rural unincorporated community of Gold Bridge to ensure the community would be sustained while also enabling Gold Bridge to foster economic growth. Although numbering only around forty year-round inhabitants, Gold Bridge is the service and supply centre for the upper basin of the Bridge River Valley, which includes recreation-residential areas at the Gun Lakes, Tyaughton Lake, Marshall Creek and the nearby ghost towns of Brexton, Bralorne, and Pioneer Mine.
This project is now ensuring safe and potable water in addition to providing increased fire protection for the community. The project included the construction of a water supply, groundwater test well, water distribution system expansion, and the construction of a water treatment facility.
"Prior to the system upgrades, no new connections to the water system were permitted, as well, the negative connotations of boil notices probably played a part in reduced tourist related accommodations at the local hotels. The community of Gold Bridge is comprised of approximately 43 permanent residents. Northern Development's funding enabled this project as borrowing costs would have been too much of a burden for this unincorporated community."Janis Netzel, Director of Utilities and Environmental Services, Squamish Lillooet Regional District
"The Squamish-Lillooet Regional District and the community feel that Gold Bridge's new water system will have a positive effect on the community as there is now safe potable water in the hotels and to the homes. New development can now occur as there are many lots that are not yet improved. As well, there is now sufficient capacity in the system for residency to double in Gold Bridge."Janis Netzel, Director of Utilities and Environmental Services, Squamish-Lillooet Regional District
The project has sustained community viability in Gold Bridge while also positioning this rural community to accommodate future residential and economic growth. Since the upgrades have taken place, there has been direct employment in Gold Bridge related to operation and maintenance of the modern water treatment facility.
The one new full-time position created, combined with the nineteen temporary jobs that were created during construction and installation of the new system, demonstrate the positive economic benefits that this project has already had on Gold Bridge. Since the completion of the project, water quality tests have been requested by prospective buyers, which is envisioned to lead to increased taxation revenues for the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District and added vibrancy within Gold Bridge's rural area and surrounding communities.