TRUCKEE, Calif. — After years of planning and study, construction of a multi-use trail described as one of the region’s most anticipated recreation projects is about to begin.
Work starts next week on a 0.57-mile portion of the Martis Valley Trail, with completion expected in mid-October, said Mike Staudenmayer, general manager of the Northstar Community Services District.
The trail segment will go from Autumn Way by Truckee’s Hampton Inn & Suites to about the Caltrans display board above Highway 267 near Martis Valley.
“It’s a dream come true, and we’re so excited about it,” said Nancy Ives, NCSD board president.
Segment 1A is part of a larger 10-foot-wide paved bike path that will stretch 10.4 miles from the edge of the town of Truckee through Martis Valley and the Northstar Village to the Fiberboard Freeway near Brockway Summit above Kings Beach.
The Martis Valley Trail will serve as a connection from Truckee to the North Shore, linking the communities of Truckee, Martis Valley, Northstar and Kings Beach.
“When you are able to get one community connected to the next or to a commercial center, not only is it a tremendous recreational asset, but it’s what visitors look for and residents use,” Staudenmayer said.
A hotly debated issue was what trail alignment should be used to connect Truckee with Northstar California — either following Highway 267, or going through Martis Valley.
After hearing public feedback on concerns of safety, litter and trail enjoyability, and considering environmental factors, the NCSD board of directors approved the highway alignment in a 3-1 vote in February 2013.
NCSD is the lead agency for the project, which is estimated at $17 million. As of Wednesday, $4.5 million in funding had been identified, Staudenmayer said.
On Aug. 26, the Placer County Board of Supervisors approved roughly $1 million for the trail — $750,000 from park dedication fees paid by new development, and $254,150 from the Housing-Related Parks Grant Program.
“The board’s action clearly demonstrates that we strongly feel that creating a walkable, bikeable path that connects Truckee, Kings Beach, Tahoe City, the Truckee River Corridor and then back to Truckee will be good for our environment, our economy, and our social and cultural fabric,” said Jennifer Montgomery, Placer County Supervisor for District 5.
NCSD bond proceeds will cover the $723,022 estimated cost for Segment 1A, while Placer County funding and $500,000 in recommended Transient Occupancy Tax funds from the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association will likely cover the $2.065 million estimated cost for Segment 1B.
Work on Segment 1B — which will extend the trail to the Martis Valley Wildlife Viewing Area for a total of 1.76 miles — is anticipated to start in spring 2015.
Construction of future trail segments — there are six in all — is funding-dependent.