Tahoe Roads: Recapping 2018 roadwork on South Shore (opinion)
Editor’s note: This is the first column in a newly monthly feature intended to update readers about Caltrans’ projects and other road-related news.
Roadwork season 2018 is complete and Caltrans is proud to update South Lake Tahoe motorists on the improvements made this summer that benefit the roadways as well as the environment.
South Lake Tahoe is included in Caltrans District 3, which includes 1,491 center-line miles and 4,385 lane miles in 11 Sacramento Valley and Northern Sierra counties. As the Department of Transportation for the state of California, Caltrans is responsible for designing, constructing and maintaining the state’s highway and interstate systems and informing the public of construction project plans and commute impacts.
This season Caltrans completed Phase Two of the three-phase “Y to Trout Creek Bridge Project” that is reconstructing U.S. 50 from the “Y” intersection with California 89 to the Trout Creek Bridge. Phase Two focused on the stretch of highway from Winnemucca Avenue to Silver Dollar Avenue.
As part of the Lake Tahoe Environmental Improvement Program, this project was designed to protect Lake Tahoe’s water quality by rebuilding underground storm drain systems. Now, storm water runoff is captured and filtered to keep dirt, oil and litter from reaching the lake.
Additional community benefits include widening the highway to provide 6-foot shoulders for safer bike access as well as new traffic signals at the intersection of Lodi Avenue and U.S. 50. Sidewalks on both sides of the highway have also been reconstructed.
Next year, the final phase of the Y to Trout Creek Bridge Project will focus on Phase Three, from Silver Dollar Avenue to the Trout Creek Bridge, with a projected completion date of winter 2019.
Two additional projects are slated to begin next spring, and as always, Caltrans sincerely appreciates the patience and safe practices of impacted drivers while construction is underway.
In Meyers, Caltrans will replace the existing T-intersection at California Route 89 and U.S. 50 with a three-leg roundabout. Currently, the junction just past the weigh-in station does not have traffic stops controlling vehicle flow. This project was designed to improve safety and reduce the number of collisions at the intersection.
The second, “US Highway 50 Echo Summit Sidehill Viaduct Replacement Project,” will be located about 7 miles from South Lake Tahoe and will replace the bridge coming down off Echo Summit. The bridge was originally built in 1938 and repaired in the 1970s and again in the 1980s.
This project is expected to be completed in two construction seasons, during which motorists can expect one-way traffic control and should plan accordingly for delays.
Steve Nelson is public information officer for Caltrans District 3, which includes the Lake Tahoe Basin. For more detailed information on Caltrans projects and to view a real-time traffic flow map, please visit TahoeRoads.com. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, @TahoeRoads, to engage with us and see interesting posts about California’s urban, mountain, prairie and lake basin terrain.