Pioneer Trail erosion work begins |

Pioneer Trail erosion work begins

Work began this week on the Pioneer Trail Erosion Control Project, with completion set for October.

The project is part of the 1997 presidential mandate that called for $907 million of environmental improvements in the Lake Tahoe Basin. The $3.9 million project includes a bike lane, more than three miles of paving and watershed improvements.

“The project represents a tremendous partnership between more than a dozen government and private entities,” said Matthew Boyer, director of the El Dorado County Department of Transportation. “I’m very pleased that we have accomplished another piece of the Environmental Improvement Program, and we’re looking forward to delivering another couple of pieces of that puzzle in the next few years.”

The project, which includes three retention basins for stormwater runoff, will evaluate the effects of contaminants in groundwater. Water quality monitoring began in 1997 and will continue for three to five years after completion.

“There has been an increase in the number of monitoring projects in the basin, and this is one of the few projects looking at groundwater,” said Kim Carr, watershed restoration specialist for the California Tahoe Conservancy.

The project is designed to stop nutrient-rich sediment before it reaches Trout Creek, Cold Creek and Heavenly Valley Creek, tributaries of Lake Tahoe. Sediment can carry phosphorus and nitrogen, which are nutrients for algae that detract from lake clarity.

The project, spearheaded by El Dorado County, includes funding by the California Tahoe Conservancy and the U.S. Geological Survey, a division of the U.S. Department of Interior.

Since 1985, the Conservancy has funded 85 erosion control projects in the basin. Twelve of those are still in the works.

The project will include a 1.2-mile bike lane on both sides of Pioneer Trail from the Golden Bear Trail intersection to the city limit.

“Pioneer has become a main transportation corridor for people, so anything to make it safer – we’re all for it,” said Tom Wendell, chairman of Tahoe Regional Area Cyclists.

The project will also include 3.2 miles of repaving on Pioneer Trail from the Glen Eagles Road intersection to the city limit.

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