North Tahoe highway overhaul to begin next April
KINGS BEACH, Calif. — With funding and easements secured and a contract soon to follow, construction of the Kings Beach "Core of the Core" project should begin in April. When work begins, the contractor must follow parameters created by Placer County in response to business-owner concerns, said Peter Kraatz, Placer County Department of Public Works deputy director. Since July and August are Tahoe's busiest months, the contractor cannot build the new sidewalk in front of businesses during that time, and existing paved paths must be maintained to allow patron access. The contractor will be allowed to build drainage improvements on Highway 28 during the peak season, however — otherwise, work would extend over multiple construction seasons, Kraatz said. Projects within the $24 million Core of the Core — expected to take two construction seasons, if not three — include: • Streetscape improvements from Secline Street to the Minnow parking lot entrance, including Highway 28 resizing, installation of roundabouts and creation of bike lanes. • Bike lanes and roadway striping from Highway 267 to Chipmunk Street. • Five of seven storm drain systems/crossings. • Three of four remaining satellite parking lots and 103 on-street parking spaces, totaling 211 of 220 permanent spaces. • An additional 13 speed humps, mostly located in The Grid. • Improved transit facilities and bus shelters. The work will likely take place during weekday daylight hours, Kraatz said, in consideration of nearby residents. The highway will remain open during construction, likely allowing one-lane traffic in each direction. A construction contract could be awarded at the Oct. 21 Placer County Board of Supervisors meeting. An additional $10 million is needed to build elements for Phase 2 of the Kings Beach Commercial Core Improvement Project, including: • Highway and drainage improvements from Secline Street to Highway 267. • Highway and drainage improvements from the entrance of the Minnow parking lot to Chipmunk Street. • Portions of sidewalk and traffic calming measures within The Grid. • A future parking lot. "We're pretty confident we'll find the money," said Kraatz, adding that a potential source is the State Transportation Improvement Program. Phase 2 could start either during Core of the Core construction or afterward, he said. Completion of both phases is not expected until at least 2017.