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Project stuck in slow lane

Michael Schneider

Bad weather, which pushed construction too deeply into the summer tourist season, has set back the timetable regarding U.S. Highway 50 improvements in South Lake Tahoe.

Jan Busatto, the city’s associate management analyst, said the turn lane and curb and gutter improvements to the intersection of Ski Run Boulevard and the highway won’t be completed until after Labor Day. It was originally scheduled to be done by June 15.

“We didn’t have enough time to do the project before the tourist season,” Busatto said. She said the project has now been split into two phases, with the second beginning after the Labor Day holiday at the end of September.

Busatto said a sidewalk opposite the lake side of the highway will be finished and open to the public by the July 4 holiday weekend, but will not be illuminated until after the holiday.

The new turn lanes and curb and gutters at the intersection have been completed, but the turn lanes will not be open until new signal lights are installed after Labor Day.

Currently there is a signal post in between the new right-turn lane from the highway to Ski Run and the travel lanes.

The other U.S. Highway 50 project, which will see curb and gutter installed east of Ski Run, along with work to other streets in the area and the completion of the water treatment ponds at Wildwood Avenue, is closer to its original schedule.

Tim Oliver, the city’s engineering manager, said the improvements to the flow of traffic on the highway will be finished by June 26, although the entire project won’t be complete until October.

“It could be sooner if we get some better weather,” Oliver said.

After the highway is done, the work crews will shift their attention to other streets in the area that are part of the project as well as the detention ponds.

The detention ponds are designed to hold water in the Ski Run area that used to flow into Lake Tahoe. While the water is in the ponds, organisms harmful to water clarity will be filtered out before the water makes its way to the lake.

After the ponds are finished, Oliver said crews will place 30,000 wetlands plants into them.

Tahoe Daily Tribune E-mail: tribune@tahoe.com

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