Pioneer erosion, bike project put off until 2000 |

Pioneer erosion, bike project put off until 2000

Rick Chandler

The El Dorado County Department of Transportation announced on Wednesday that it is postponing the Pioneer Trail III Erosion Control and Bike Lane Project.

The project, scheduled to begin June 1, has been delayed to the year 2000 construction season in order for the DOT to coordinate with property owners. A public meeting on the project also has been postponed – from May 28 of this year until sometime in late summer.

The project will center on culvert crossings near Cold Creek, Trout Creek and Heavenly Valley Creek – the three main tributaries to Lake Tahoe that run beneath Pioneer Trail. The project will include shoring up the sand traps and retention ponds which lay beside the creeks and serve as the lake’s natural filters.

The theory behind the water control projects on Pioneer Trail is to improve and repair the system that filters out pollutants and other large particles before they find their way into Lake Tahoe.

Workers will install and improve sand traps near the creeks, and put in metal pipes. Water is diverted from the traps, via the pipes, into retention basins. Some of these basins are formed naturally – as in the Lake Christopher basin near Cold Creek – and some are man-made. Water percolates through these basins, leaving sediments and pollutants behind, before running into the lake. In addition, phosphorous and nitrogen – the two main food sources of algae – are scooped up and consumed by the plant material in the basins. Lake Tahoe’s water clarity has suffered in recent years, mainly due to algae growth.

The DOT will also be expanding and designating existing bike lanes on Pioneer Trail, making sure that they are wide enough to accommodate bike traffic in all areas.

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