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Busy road work season ahead

Ronnie Lynn, Sun News Service

If you’re driving around Truckee this summer, it might be a good idea to bring a book to read with you in case of road construction delays.

This summer’s largest road construction projects for the area will all be in and around Truckee, including the new Truckee Bypass and a major overhaul of an 11-mile stretch of Interstate 80 from east Truckee to Floriston.

Caltrans plans to resume its Truckee Bypass project May 1, said Bob Burton, the project’s resident engineer. The $33.5 million project will create a two-lane expressway that realigns Highway 267 as it approaches Interstate 80. The new route will be located east of downtown, which will relieve congestion by enabling motorists to bypass town, Burton said. The highway currently runs through downtown and intersects with a railroad crossing that often causes traffic jams.

Since construction began in August 1999, Caltrans crews have built and paved the westbound portion of the interchange, putting the project at about 50 percent completion.

When construction gets underway next month, crews will begin building the eastbound portion of the interchange.

“We should get that completed this construction season without a problem,” Burton said.

The project is scheduled for completion in summer 2002.

Burton also will oversee a bridge replacement project at Donner Park. His crews will build a new bridge just to the west of the existing bridge, which will then be torn down.

Caltrans’ largest area construction project this summer will be the complete overhaul of an 11-mile stretch of I-80 just east of Truckee. The $96 million project will bring striping, guardrails, site distances and roadway curvatures up to current standards, Caltrans spokesman Mark Dinger said.

It also will redo all on- and off-ramps and rehabilitate or entirely replace the six bridges along the stretch of interstate, which runs from just west of the Fibreboard undercrossing in Truckee to the west end of the Truckee River.

This project is just a small portion of Caltrans’ $1 billion, 90-mile overhaul of Interstate 80 from Roseville to the state line.

“This highway hasn’t been replaced since it was constructed in 1960,” Dinger said.

The bad news is the North Shore won’t escape road construction this summer. The good news is it should only last a day or so.

Last summer, Caltrans resurfaced Highway 28 from Tahoe City to the state line except for a 600-foot stretch near Snow Creek.

A wetland restoration project prevented Caltrans from completing that segment of road work, but the project’s resident engineer, Kevin McKechnie, hopes to start and finish that stretch in coming weeks.

“Our start is a function of what they still need to do on the wetland restoration project,” he said. “We’re anticipating starting the first week of June. We’ll definitely be done before July 1, and hopefully before school gets out.”

In addition to the section of resurfacing, his crew also will complete some minor work in Kings Beach near Fox Street.


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