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South Lake Tahoe road projects to wrap up at end of month

Jack Barnwell
jbarnwell@tahoedailytribune.com
Southwest Gas contract crews examine a pipeline on Lake Tahoe Boulevard as part of relocation efforts.
Courtesy / Southwest Gas |

A flurry of roadwork around South Lake Tahoe that began this summer will wrap up construction for 2015 by the end of the month.

Tahoe Regional Planning Agency sets an Oct. 15 deadline for road construction projects in the Lake Tahoe Basin, though week-to-week exemptions can be granted.

Construction caused traffic delays and detours as crews made improvements to the road.

Southwest Gas

The most noticeable roadwork is happening on Lake Tahoe Boulevard from the “Y” at Highway 89 to Al Tahoe Boulevard.

Southwest Gas is relocating its pipelines in advance of a future Caltrans road improvement project, according to spokeswoman Sonya Headen.

As of Oct. 8, Southwest Gas relocated approximately 24,400 feet of pipelines and it is 80-percent complete.

Construction wraps up on Oct. 31, but Southwest Gas will resume work on the project for five weeks in 2016.

Caltrans scheduled the large-scale project from 2017 through 2019.

Southwest Gas will continue controlled traffic direction from the Upper Truckee River Bridge to Al Tahoe Boulevard/Tulare Avenue. Between now and 10 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 16, eastbound drivers should expect the number two lane to be closed around the clock. Road crews will conduct traffic safety measures as well.

Caltrans

Several highway improvement projects are underway on Lake Tahoe’s West and South Shores, according to Nelson.

The project on Highway 89 from the “Y” to Cascade Road, north of Camp Richardson, is approximately 50-percent complete.

The $1.1-million project includes installing curbs, gutters and sidewalks along the 1.1-mile, four-lane section. Caltrans will also widen the two-lane section at Visitor Center Road near Taylor Creek Visitors Center to include paved four-foot-wide shoulders.

Nelson said contractors will go into winter suspension until May 2016. Caltrans expects to complete the project by spring 2017.

Traffic control will be conducted from the “Y” to 15th Street and from West Way to Cascade Road around the clock from Wednesday, Oct. 14, to 10 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 16.

Drivers should expect alternating lane closures in the four-lane section and one-way traffic control in the two-lane section.

El Dorado County

El Dorado County projects in unincorporated portions of South Lake Tahoe and near Meyers wrapped up at the end of September and early October.

Sawmill Road at Highway 50 near Meyers reopened after months of work on a $2 million bicycle path and erosion control project.

According to El Dorado County senior civil engineer Donaldo Palaroan, the project includes a new eight-foot paved bicycle path separated from the road. Most of the erosion control process was completed in 2014.

El Dorado County shut down a portion of Sawmill Road because contractors needed to realign a portion and install a retaining wall.

The path adds new connections between Meyers and South Tahoe High School along Sawmill Road.

“It improves pedestrian and bicyclist safety,” Palaroan said. “People are more apt to feel safe off the roadway and it definitely makes for a safer route.”

The county plans to hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday, Oct. 14, at 3 p.m. on Sawmill Road near Echo View Drive.

Black Bart, Barbara and Martin avenues were all closed down at different times between Sept. 21 and Oct. 2 for new asphalt.

Nevada Department of Transportation

Nevada Department of Transportation closed the westbound lakeside tunnel at Cave Rock Tunnel on Highway 50 for geotechnical surveys and to install temporary netting.

According to Meg Ragonese, NDOT’s public information officer, traffic heading to South Lake Tahoe on Highway 50 from Carson City or Incline Village will be rerouted through the eastbound tunnel daily from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. until the end of the month.

“We have traffic control set up to rotate travel between the two directions of travel for one tunnel,” Ragonese said.

Traffic delays of up to 30 minutes should be expected.

Surveys should wrap up by the end of October.

Ragonese said Nevada Department of Transportation plans to extend the lakeside tunnel entrance in spring 2016 to improve safety against potential rockfall after heavy rains in winter 2014 loosened rocks around the tunnel.

For more information on road projects in the Lake Tahoe Basin, visit http://www.tahoeroads.com.


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