Portion of Industrial Avenue closed to allow SEZ restoration project | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Portion of Industrial Avenue closed to allow SEZ restoration project

Hema Easley

Huge tractors and earth movers are tearing up 500 feet of Industrial Avenue, part of which will remain closed permanently as part of an environmental restoration project.

Work began last week to remove the road segment between Welcome’s Auto Body and Tahoe Asphalt. Ground work should be finished this week, with paving of a cul-de-sac near Tahoe Asphalt and installation of curbs, gutters and drainage basins to follow in short order.

The project will allow for the merger of a 13-acre undeveloped stream environment zone, which was split when Industrial Avenue was built in the 1960s. The street kept snowmelt from flowing into the watershed area, which works as a filter for water flowing into the lake.

“It’s a little bit of earth moving for a large benefit,” said Lisa O’Daly, associate planner for the city of South Lake Tahoe. “It is one of the Environmental Improvement Programs for water quality and Stream Environment Zone restoration.”

After the road has been torn out, a more natural topography will be created. Shallow channels and sediment traps will help filter the water before it flows to Lake Tahoe; currently, it is piped out to the Tahoe Valley Erosion Control Project for treatment.

Another aspect of the project will be the setting up of a pre-treatment valve, which will catch and treat water coming off the industrial zone that exists close to the project site. The area is home to an asphalt plant, a mini-storage facility and the city corporation yard among other large industrial users.

The street closure will not seriously impact traffic in the area because it was not a major thoroughfare and was being used mainly as a shortcut for people wanting quick access to Tahoe Asphalt, O’Daly said.

The SEZ project was approved early this summer and is being funded by the California Tahoe Conservancy. Revegetation work is likely to be completed by the end of November.

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