Officials celebrate Harrison Avenue improvements in South Lake Tahoe
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — City leaders assembled with business owners and agency officials Thursday to celebrate the completion of a major construction project to improve streetscape and underground infrastructure along Harrison Avenue and certain nearby streets.
The roughly $6 million South Lake Tahoe project began in May with workers setting out to install new sidewalks, lighting, bike trails, landscaping and storm water upgrades in an area considered to be a key sector of the community.
For weeks, the sound of chainsaws, grinders and other heavy construction equipment filled the air, while traffic adapted to the recently formed network of one-way streets.
But now, nearly 20 years after the project was identified as a need in the city, the vision to complete the Harrison Avenue Streetscape Improvement Project has come to fruition.
“What you see is really the result of a lot of discussion, a lot of conversations with the business owners and community, about what was really needed here,” said Ray Jarvis, public works director for South Lake Tahoe. “And as you can see, the project turned out beautifully.”
Jarvis spoke at the project’s ribbon-cutting Thursday, where city and agency officials praised the collaborative effort that went into the project’s completion and the benefits the work will have on the area.
They talked about how the enhanced streetscape has already spurred some nearby businesses to administer visual improvements of their own and how the project drastically decreases the amount of sediment flowing into Lake Tahoe.
About 5,000 pounds of sediment stays out of the lake every day as a result of the project, said Julie Regan, external affairs chief with the Tahoe Regional Planning.
“This is a renaissance that we’re experiencing,” she said at the ribbon-cutting. “And again, having been here for a couple decades, I’ve been to more events like this in the last few weeks than I think we’ve had in years. So that’s a good sign, and we want to keep that momentum going.”
The project was the result of a substantial amount of collaboration between several agencies and funding partners.
Participating agencies included TRPA, Caltrans, U.S. Forest Service, California Tahoe Conservancy, El Dorado County, South Tahoe Public Utility District, Liberty Utilities, RO Anderson, SNC Construction, Cardno Entrix, Southwest and AT&T.
Harrison Avenue property owners also agreed to contribute $1 million for the improvements, which will be repaid to the city over the next 20 years.
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