Benefits of Bijou project touted at ribbon-cutting
Several environmental agencies joined the City of South Lake Tahoe on Thursday in celebrating the end of a long-awaited project aimed at improving the quality of water entering Lake Tahoe at a critical site.
The Bijou Area Erosion Control Project involved the replacement of the failing 50-year-old Bijou Creek storm drain system from the outlet of Bijou Meadow, under Fairway Drive and Hwy 50, through the Bijou commercial core and out to Lake Tahoe, according to a city notice.
“This updated infrastructure will convey Bijou Creek to Lake Tahoe while separately treating stormwater runoff from 42 acres within the Bijou Commercial area, preventing 21,000 pounds of fine sediment particles from reaching Lake Tahoe each year,” the city explained in the release.
After being in development for about 10 years, the approximately $18 million erosion control project received a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday.
During the event, members from agencies that contributed to the project said a few words about the importance of the undertaking and the obstacles overcome to finish it.
Joanne Marchetta, executive director of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, was among them.
“This is the largest pollutant loading tributary into Lake Tahoe,” she said. “So we’re reducing over 20,000 pounds a year of sediment. We’re reducing nutrients — phosphorous and nitrogen — by almost 96 percent here. So this is going to start to address some of the algae problems that we’ve seen. So we’re addressing the environment at all different kinds of levels.”
Other agencies involved with the project’s funding and progression include the U.S. Forest Service, Caltrans, the State Water Resources Control Board, California Tahoe Conservancy and South Tahoe Public Utility District.
City employee and Project Manager Trevor Coolidge said the project required immense amounts of collaboration and hard work.
“If you remember last year, last week a year ago, we were working 24 hours a day in this area, just striving to get it done.” He said at the ceremony. “So it’s a major effort.”
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User