North Tahoe highway overhaul project earns award
August 2, 2016
KINGS BEACH, Calif. — The project to overhaul Highway 28 in Kings Beach and upgrade the community's downtown core recently received a national award from the American Public Works Association.
The first phase of Kings Beach Commercial Core Improvement Project is nearing completion after three years of construction and after more than a decade of planning.
In July, the American PWA announced the project's first phase earned Public Works Project of the Year in the transportation category for projects costing between $5 million and $25 million.
In awarding the project the association also noted the project progressed on time, despite the shortened construction season and with crews having to deal with inclement weather throughout the building season.
"A few years ago, the main drag through Kings Beach had no sidewalks or bike lanes, a single crossing across State Route 28 where pedestrians were too often struck by vehicles, and no amenities that would encourage people to get out of their cars and walk," said Public Works and Facilities Director Ken Grehm. "There are many people who have been a part of this project over the years who should feel proud for this peer recognition. Despite the obstacles inherent to building in the Tahoe Basin, staff has persevered and the area is greatly improved."
The focus of the project is threefold: stormwater improvements, aesthetic improvements and making the community more bicycle and pedestrian friendly.
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Extensive stormwater collection, conveyance and treatment features were installed as part of the project.
Prior to construction, runoff, with its nutrient-laden dirt, would flow unchecked into Lake Tahoe.
The reduced clarity of the lake can be directly attributed to runoff. The project added gutters, drains, collection basins and treatment structures that will significantly reduce the runoff into the lake in Kings Beach.
Prior to project construction, the area was missing basic amenities. There were no sidewalks, curbs and gutters, landscaping, crosswalks or other features to encourage the public to get out of their cars and walk. Additionally, the four-lane highway through the community did little to encourage slow and safe vehicular traffic.
Now with the highway being a three-lane thoroughfare with roundabouts, traffic has slowed and the views are more readily seen.
The project was recognized for the collaborative efforts between the county's public works department, contractors and consultants. The award will be presented at the association's annual meeting this month.
This article was provided by Placer County. Visit placer.ca.gov to learn more.