Bijou erosion control project gets $688K green light | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Bijou erosion control project gets $688K green light

Adam Jensen
ajensen@tahoedailytribune.com
Adam Jensen / Tahoe Daily TribuneA man walks by part of the existing drainage system for the Bijou area Thursday off Fairway Avenue. The system would be improved under a proposed project that passed an important hurdle last week.
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SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – A “key milestone” has been reached in funding a proposed South Shore project designed to improve Lake Tahoe’s clarity.

On Sept. 15, the California Tahoe Conservancy approved a $688,526 grant for the proposed Bijou Area Erosion Control Project.

The project includes construction of a storm water management system for areas surrounding Bijou Creek and the Bijou Center, the shopping center that includes Heidi’s Pancake House.

Erosion control measures at the shopping center and replacement of a deteriorating culvert that leads to Lake Tahoe underneath the center is part of the project’s first phase.

“The Bijou project is a collaborative interagency effort led by the city to collect and treat runoff from one of South Lake Tahoe’s most urbanized areas, a major source of pollutants that damage Lake Tahoe’s famed clarity,” according to a statement from the conservancy. “The project will capture and remove fine sediment and other pollutants in several pre-treatment vaults in the Bijou commercial area along Highway 50, and then pump the treated water to infiltration basins upstream of Bijou Meadow.”

Water quality problems in the 1,386-acre Bijou Creek watershed have been identified as a priority in the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency’s Environmental Improvement Program, according to the project’s environmental document.

The conservancy grant is a “key milestone” for the project, which must be ready to bid by June 2012 in order to receive $4.7 million in construction funding from Caltrans, said Sarah Hussong Johnson, associate civil engineer for South Lake Tahoe, in an August staff report.

The grant will pay for the city’s cost to acquire easements across private land and related expenses. It will supplement an earlier $1.6 million conservancy planning grant, according to the statement.

Other major contributors to the $12 million project are expected to include South Lake Tahoe, the U.S. Forest Service and local private property owners.

Private property owners who contribute to the funding of the shared storm water system will receive certificates for completing Best Management Practices and will not be required to construct their own treatment facilities, according to the statement.


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