TRPA opts for residents’ preferred pipe location |

TRPA opts for residents’ preferred pipe location

by Jeff Munson, Tribune city editor

A group of Grass Lake Road homeowners concerned about a underground pipeline proposed to haul wastewater out of the area, say they are pleased the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency is recommending that construction doesn’t cut through their property.

The 18 residents, led by Suzanne Capella, have petitioned the South Tahoe Public Utilities District and TRPA not to choose one of five alternate plans, which they say would tear up the roads near the homes and possibly on their property.

While the plan, known as Alternate C, is considered the environmentally superior alternative, TRPA concluded its impacts to the neighborhood are significant enough not to recommend it based on the following criteria:

n Caltrans traffic delay and construction timing policies.

n Risk of existing pipeline rupturing due to a one-year delay in construction to allow for additional design time.

n Additional costs.

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n Placement of more of the highest operating pressure pipeline within roadways.

n Need for additional tank storage at the Luther Pass pump station.

TRPA’s Advisory Planning Commission meeting will be Wednesday at 9:30 a.m., at the Horizon Casino Resort.

Capella and others still plan to petition commissioners and urge them not to go with alternate C. TRPA’s Governing Board is expected to hear the proposal on March 26.

“That’s good news,” Capella said. “If they stay by that, we will be dancing down our street.”

Plans call for the laying of steel pipe to replace old pipes that were constructed in 1968. The project crosses steep terrain and lays entirely within public lands managed the the U.S. Forest Service. The area is bisected by Highway 89 and bounded by Grass Lake Road, Upper Truckee Road and a paved Forest Service road accessing the Luther Pass overflow campground.

The pipe will be 24 inches in diameter and the trench will be at least 7 feet deep and 4 to 6 feet wide, with widths of up to 16 feet.

Jeff Munson can be reached at