The options that will be considered for a proposed Loop Road project that would route traffic from U.S. Highway 50 around the casino corridor could be chosen as soon as April.The South Lake Tahoe City Council will hold a special meeting March 12 during which updated information about the long-discussed project will be presented, according to a Thursday statement from the Tahoe Transportation District.The proposed road would take traffic from U.S. Highway 50 around the south side of Heavenly Village and the casinos. The road through the casinos would be narrowed, and improvements such as landscaping would be added. The exact configuration of the road is still under discussion.Project proponents envision the Loop Road as part of a plan to reinvigorate the South Shore economy by making the stateline area more pedestrian friendly.The project has been criticized by some business and homeowners concerned with the loss of their property. Some have also said the project will drive business to Nevada at the expense of California businesses.A recently completed economic analysis of the proposed project found Stateline-area shopping centers could see total annual retail sales increases of $16 million to $25 million if the Loop Road, as well as South Lake Tahoe's General Plan and the South Shore Vision Plan are completed.“Increased retail sales will stem from increased levels of tourist visitation, higher levels of visitor spending, and a higher capture of spending from local residents,” according to an executive summary of the analysis. The full analysis is expected to be available next week, said Carl Hasty, the executive director of the Tahoe Transportation District.Representatives of Economic & Planning System Inc. the consulting firm that completed the analysis, as well as the Loop Road's engineer, will present information about the project at the March 12 meeting.The TTD's board could determine which alternatives will be analyzed in the proposal's environmental document as soon as April, Hasty said.
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