Night work could reduce gridlock |

Night work could reduce gridlock

Susan Wood, Tahoe Daily Tribune

The traffic jam that frustrated motorists this week on Lake Tahoe Boulevard may dissipate next week when work crews adopt a nighttime schedule.

The South Tahoe Public Utility District is replacing water lines along the city’s major thoroughfare. Beginning Sunday, workers will start at 7 p.m. and finish at 7 a.m. On Friday, the work will end at 6:30 a.m. The night schedule will last until June 7.

The utility district is replacing an aging 8-inch waterline with a larger 14-inch line that stretches nearly a mile between Lodi and Reno avenues. The traffic jams have stretched longer than that.

By the time June 7 rolls around, a problem area at Sierra Boulevard is expected to be cleared. Apparently the street light won’t keep up with the influx of vehicles, forcing the California Department of Transportation to tweak the timing of the signal.

Showing signs of frustration, some drivers cut each other off on the road Wednesday. Others have been driving up the median to circumvent the clogs.

Along the way, vehicles have nearly hit road workers, who have also endured obscene gestures and comments, district spokesman Dennis Cocking said.

“What we saw (Wednesday) was horrendous,” he said.

The gridlock situation was the result of a reoccurring problem in South Lake Tahoe — a short time span for construction, Cocking pointed out.

“We’ve heard people complaining, but it’s always been a problem up here,” he said.

After putting in the new line, the district will test it then repave the road. The job is scheduled to end June 28.

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