Advisory group hears about Cool bike trail

By From page A9 | November 11, 2011

At its meeting on Nov. 3, the Cool-Pilot Hill Advisory Committee heard an update on the bike path planned from Auburn Lake Trails to Northside School.

Jennifer Maxwell from the El Dorado County Department of Transportation told the small group of attendees that the design of the trail was 95 percent completed. The process of coordinating with utilities such as PG&E, AT&T and Georgetown Divide Public utility District is currently taking place.

“We have met their demands and are moving forward,” said Hank White, GDPUD general manager. “They are telling us what to do; we have no choice.”

White said that it was important for the community to realize that they as residents are paying for the bike path and the relocation of water lines and utilities. While he added that he is 100 percent “on board for bike trails,” he added that the cost savings had been shifted from DOT, increasing the costs to GDPUD.

“The county has the ability to help this district (with the cost of moving lines), but they have chosen not to,” White added. “That is my only objection.”

The estimated cost to move the waterline, which is in conflict with the bike path, is $500,000. The project idea began approximately 10 years ago with then-Principal Bill Jensen of Northside School. In pursuit of grant funds, Jensen secured state and federal “safe bike route” money for children to bike to school from Auburn Lake Trails. The 2-mile project is estimated at $4 million and expected to begin construction next summer.

Another possible update is planned for the January 2012 meeting. For more information, e-mail Larry Ring at [email protected]

Rebecca Murphy

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