TAHOE CITY, Calif. — Motorists traveling on Highway 89 along the West Shore can expect traffic delays when a collaborative project between Caltrans and Southwest Gas resumes next month.
“We realize this is a bit of a challenge to residents and businesses, but we’re going to work as hard as we can to make it as painless as possible,” said Steve Nelson, Tahoe Basin outreach coordinator for Caltrans.
Weather permitting, on April 14, Southwest Gas will start replacing and relocating existing natural gas mains and piping on a roughly 3-mile stretch in Tahoe City, north of Granlibakken Road to Ward Creek Boulevard, until Oct. 15, said Greg Davis, a construction manager for Southwest Gas.
During off-peak season (Memorial Day to June 15), work will be from midnight Sunday to 1 p.m. Monday, and 6 p.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday.
During peak season (June 15 to Labor Day), it will be from midnight Sunday to noon Monday; 7 p.m. to noon Monday through Thursday; and 7 p.m. Thursday to 10 a.m. Friday.
A one-lane closure will be in effect, with at least one stop and a potential for a second, for a maximum delay of 20 minutes, Davis said.
Work on private property will take place during the daytime on some weekends, but roadway traffic will not be impacted.
In conjunction, Caltrans will start drainage and roadwork May 1, weather permitting, along a roughly 3-mile stretch between Homewood and Tahoma, at Wilson Avenue to Cherry Street, until Oct. 15, said Roy Iskin, resident engineer for Caltrans’ Truckee construction field office.
Day and night work will be allowed. During off-peak season, work will be from midnight Sunday to noon Friday. During peak season, it will be from midnight Sunday to 10 a.m. Friday.
Motorists can expect a minimum of two stops on this three-mile stretch of highway, with a maximum 20-minute delay, Iskin said.
When the gas company’s work is factored in, it’s possible motorists could experience a 40-minute delay, excluding any other area projects.
This season marks the final project phase for Southwest Gas, which started in 2012. Caltrans, however, has two more road segments (Cherry Street to Ward Creek Boulevard and Ward Creek Boulevard to Fanny Bridge) left after this season, with completion expected in October 2016.
This project, which includes road widening and resurfacing among other improvements, is part of a lake-wide effort by Caltrans to protect Lake Tahoe clarity by reducing stormwater sediment runoff.
Southwest Gas has established a project hotline to answer resident questions and field concerns: 800-835-6260.