Sawmill bikepath project is set to begin |

Sawmill bikepath project is set to begin

Adam Jensen

After a year’s delay, El Dorado County officials expect to begin construction on the first leg of the Sawmill Bike Path Project on June 18.

County supervisors originally authorized advertisement for construction bids on June 20, 2006, but did not receive any offers during the 2006 construction season.

Alfred Knotts, principal planner with the county’s Department of Transportation, suspects the relatively late call for bids was the reason for a lack of contractor interest.

The department received five bids for the project this season.

“This is a great project that I’m sure the community will appreciate,” said Bob Slater, deputy director of engineering at the County Department of Transportation, in a press statement. “We were thrilled that the low bid came in under the county estimate, and it’s nice to finally be moving forward.”

El Dorado County supervisors awarded a construction contract to the lowest responsive bidder, Burdick Excavation Company, Inc., at their May 22 meeting.

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Burdick’s bid was $1.2 million, a figure 10 percent lower than the county engineer’s construction estimate, according to a department of transportation press release.

The Phase 1A portion of the project is a Class 1 bike lane running along the west side of Highway 50 from Santa Fe Drive to the entrance of the Lake Tahoe Golf course, including a connection from Arapahoe Drive.

Class 1 bike lanes are 10 feet wide and completely separate from the roadway.

“They become corridors that give visitors and residents safe transportation from location to location, particularly for the disabled,” said Ty Polastri, president of the Lake Tahoe Bike Coalition, on Wednesday.

David Kelly, spokesman for the Tahoe Area Coordinating Council for the Disabled, agreed.

“It’s a lot easier to be on a bike trail than to be on Highway 50,” Kelley said. “We’re all in favor of anything they can do to help.”

El Dorado County officials hope to have the Phase 1 section of the path completed by the end of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency’s grading season on Oct. 15.

Phase 1B, which will extend the bike path to Lake Tahoe Boulevard along Sawmill Road, is slated to start the bidding process in the fall, according to Knotts.

Upcoming Transportation Meetings:

Who: Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and Tahoe Area Coordinating Council for the Disabled

What: Workshop regarding unmet transit needs in El Dorado County and the City of South Lake Tahoe

When: Monday, 12 to 2 p.m.

Where: Lake Tahoe Community College Theater, One College Drive, South Lake Tahoe

Who: Lake Tahoe Bike Coalition

When: Tuesday, 5:30 to 7 p.m.

Where: Design Workshop Office at the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, 128 Market Street, Stateline