SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — As the 2013 construction season came to a close in the Lake Tahoe Basin, contractors for the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) put the finishing touches on two highway improvement projects and going into winter suspension on several others.
Project highlights include:
• In South Lake Tahoe, two miles of U.S. Highway 50 (Lake Tahoe Boulevard) from the Trout Creek Bridge to Ski Run Boulevard were reconstructed over three construction seasons with new curbs and gutters, drainage systems, meandering sidewalks, pedestrian lighting, traffic signals and landscaping. The roadway was also resurfaced and widened to allow for Class II bike lanes. Disney Construction was the lead contractor on the $43.1 million project that including funding from local, state and federal sources.
• Under a separate contract, the project benefits were extended from just west of Ski Run Boulevard to Wildwood Avenue. Granite Construction was the lead contractor on the $7.5 million project.
• Work started in June on a project from the South Lake Tahoe Airport on Highway 50 (Emerald Bay Road) to the “Y” intersection of Highways 89 and 50. Granite is also the contractor on this $12.7 million project to add curbs and cutters, drainage systems, sidewalks and repave the roadway. The project is in winter suspension, with completion expected in the fall of 2014.
• Preliminary culvert work began this fall on a water-quality improvement project from Johnson Pass Road on Highway 50 through the town of Meyers to Incline Road, a stretch of 3.3 miles. The construction contract on this $15.3 project was awarded to Don Garcia Excavating and Paving. Drainage systems will be added to collect and treat stormwater runoff and some sections of the roadway will be widened to allow for Class II bike lanes. In addition, a portion of the Class I bike path will be restored. Completion is expected in fall 2014.
• On the West Shore, Caltrans and Southwest Gas continued work on a multi-year reconstruction project on Highway 89 (West Lake Boulevard) from Tahoma to Tahoe City. Southwest Gas’ contractor finished Phase 2 of gas line relocation work up to Timberland Drive and extended the work an additional 3,000 feet. Utility work is expected to continue through October. The final phase of gas line relocation work will be completed next season.
Caltrans’ contractor, Road and Highway Builders, installed nine sand vaults in the Homewood area for stormwater treatment before going into winter suspension. Future roadwork improvements include widening sections of the highway, lengthening exiting left-turn pockets and adding several new left turn lanes to improve safety. The $41 million project is expected to be completed in 2016.
• Work was completed on a $1.1 million first phase of drainage improvements on Highway 89 from Fairway Drive in Tahoe City to 0.1 mile north of Alpine Meadows Road. Improvements included installing new inlets and pipe and raising the highway centerline profile. Work will continue in 2014 under a separate construction contract.
• Also on Highway 89 in the Emerald Bay area, preliminary work started this fall on a $16 million water-quality improvement project on a nearly seven-mile segment of the roadway from 0.1 mile north of the Eagle Falls Sidehill Viaduct No. 5 to Meeks Creek Bridge. Improvements include adding curbs and gutters, sand vaults, stabilizing various eroded slopes and resurfacing the roadway. Completion is expected in fall 2015. Diablo Contractors Inc. is the contractor.
• Utility work is scheduled to continue through the end of this month, weather permitting, on the $44 million Kings Beach Commercial Core Improvement Project., which includes improvements to Highway 28. Placer County is the lead agency for this project. For more information on the KBCCIP, go to kingsbeachcore.info.
All of these projects are part of Caltrans’ commitment to the Lake Tahoe Environmental Improvement Program to protect the lake. In addition, Caltrans must comply with National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit requirements. The NPDES permit is issued by the State Water Resources Control Board and requires Caltrans to collect, treat and/or infiltrate stormwater before it enters Lake Tahoe.
Visit TahoeRoads.com for more information on Caltrans projects in the Lake Tahoe Basin. For traffic updates, follow Caltrans District 3 on Twitter and like us on Facebook.