Stateline potholes an ongoing problem
Potholes are a fact of life in the Tahoe Basin.
But for road crews, the job can be as difficult as that of a dentist who fills cavities in the mouths of children whose teeth have worn down from too much sugar.
For the roads it is a combination of vehicles that overuse area routes and consistent wet weather.
Lake Parkway, the back road looping behind Harrah’s Lake Tahoe is in tatters. Standing surface water and large shreds of asphalt litter the side of the road from the deep grooves vehicles leave behind.
“A few weeks ago I saw what I thought were black blankets on the side of (Lake Parkway),” said Guy Lucas, the general manager at Forest Inn Suites. Someone had to explain that the blankets were actually layers of the road that had peeled off. Lucas also said that there have been several speeding accidents along the road.
“It seems like that road has had a lot more wear and tear than other roads,” said Anne Burke, South Lake Tahoe resident.
Burke walks the area every other day and finds that little has been done to fix the problem. If road maintenance crews have done anything, they have done a sloppy job, Burke said.
Brett Reed, Douglas County road superintendent, said that his department has identified the road as a priority. “We spend more per mile on upper and lower Parkway than we do on any other 15 to 20 miles in the county,” Reed said of the approximately 1.2 mile road.
“We’ve averaged $60,000 per year for the last five years in that area.”
For the past five years Douglas County has had $2 million set aside to reconstruct Nevada’s portion of Lake Parkway, according to Reed.
The money is from a county capital improvement project that awaits the completion of the Stateline stormwater drainage project before it can begin refurbishments.
“Our hands are basically tied,” Reed said regarding the drainage project.
Reed said that there are natural springs in the road and if the water isn’t redirected the road will not be worth repaving.
Until the drainage project goes through, the road will continue to deteriorate despite county efforts to keep it drivable, Reed said. The county apparently sends patch trucks to temporarily repair Lake Parkway every seven to 10 days.
“It’s like putting a Band-Aid on a greasy finger,” Reed said. “It doesn’t last long. Had it been a dry winter it probably would have lasted longer.”
Planning of the area-wide drainage system for the casino core began in 1988. The Tahoe Regional Planning agency adopted the Stateline Community Plan in 1993, which required the implementation of the treatment system. Bill’s Lake Tahoe Casino, Caesars Tahoe, Harrah’s Lake Tahoe, Harveys Resort & Casino, Horizon Casino Resort, Douglas County and the Nevada Department of Transportation signed an agreement to complete the project in early 1997.
Lake Parkway was closed in October 1999 when part of the 650-foot, 48-inch pipe that will carry stormwater runoff to Edgewood Golf Course where it will move through a series of treatment ponds before it enters Lake Tahoe, was installed.
The only parts of the project remaining are the installations of drainage systems on Lake Parkway and U.S. Highway 50.
Highway 50 will be tackled first and will be completed before July 4, according to Steve Teshara, executive director of the Lake Tahoe Gaming Alliance.
Lake Parkway’s slated completion date is scheduled for this summer.
“It’s got to be done,” Teshara said.
The problem that is facing the construction is where to divert the traffic. “We’re trying to make sure that upper and lower roads aren’t closed at the same time,” Teshara added.
Pam Drum, spokesperson for TRPA said, “It’s really out of our hands. (Project consultants) have had their TRPA permit for some time.”
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