TAHOE CITY, Calif. — The popular Truckee River Bike Trail is starting to show signs of wear and tear.
“The trail is largely in good condition, so we can spot treat the more severe areas, but ultimately, (a) project will need to be done,” Nathan Chorey, project engineer for Auerbach Engineering Corporation, told the Tahoe City Public Utility District board of directors at its Feb. 21 meeting.
According to Auerbach, the trail has four reoccurring issues: cracking, root and vegetation damage, shoulder erosion; and spot drainage problems.
In weighing rehabilitation or reconstruction, the board directed staff to pursue a 2-inch asphalt overlay, with a scale-back option should funding be an issue.
“(It’s) the best total project out there to basically bring that trail up to ... brand new condition that’s not reconstruction,” said Dan Wilkins, board president.
The project is estimated to cost $1 million, and funding needs to be secured before major work begins, said Matt Homolka, district engineer/assistant general manager.
“I’m making the plea that I really do believe — out of any of our trails — this one has the most justification for a regional approach to funding, and not looking at our local taxpayers to share the entire burden,” said Cindy Gustafson, general manager for TCPUD.
The 5.1-mile trail has about 400,000 users annually, three-quarters of whom are not full-time residents, said Kelli Twomey, director of resources development and community relations for TCPUD.
Work would likely be spread across several offseasons to minimize disruption, Homolka said. With overlay work, however, the trail will have closures.
“The goal is to prolong the life of the pavement and provide a better riding surface,” he said.
Construction on Truckee River Bike Trail started in 1978 and was completed in 1998. It follows the river, extending from Fairway Drive to Squaw Valley Road, and is part of the larger existing 19-mile TCPUD trail network.