Truckee OKs more costs as Donner Pass Road project vision expands | SierraSun.com

Truckee OKs more costs as Donner Pass Road project vision expands

Josh Staab
jstaab@sierrasun.com

Another proposed visualization shows widened sidewalks with room for a wide bicycle lane.

TRUCKEE, Calif. — The vision for an improved Donner Pass Road is getting a little loftier, following recent direction from Truckee Town Council.

Council members on Aug. 25 voted to amend the Envision DPR design contract to accommodate an additional $66,869, bringing its grand total to $530,498.

The existing budget for the project for fiscal years 2014-15 and 2015-16 is $601,900, according to the town.

The $530,498 contract includes a $42,148 contingency that could be used by town staff should design work fall "out of scope" of its inception, said Becky Bucar, a senior town engineer.

The amendment comes as a result of feedback given at the July 14 town council meeting, when council members directed staff to expand the project's scope of work to include the section of Donner Pass Road from Frates Lane to the McIver Roundabout.

The Sacramento-based engineering and surveying team from Mark Thomas & Company will be tasked with fleshing out options that will be subject to another round of review and input from the public.

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Those meetings are tentatively scheduled for early November, Truckee Town Manager Tony Lashbrook said.

About two-thirds of the extra $66,869 approved last week relates to preparing design plans for the added project area, he said.

Additional traffic studies are needed for the added section and development of a preliminary maintenance assessment for the entire project, according to the town.

Costs associated with branding, logos and a website should also be taken into account, as recommended by Mark Thomas & Co.

Another addition includes contracting with KLI Finance, Inc. for a study to evaluate the feasibility of developing an assessment district to fund future maintenance.

As for the entire project, town staff is working to identify at least three viable alternatives to present before the public for input, Bucar said. Those concepts should be ready by the November meetings.

After public feedback, Bucar said planners would be able to draft up a proposed master plan for the project, which requires future approval by Truckee Town Council.

Despite not having that master plan for the project in place, Bucar said spending money up front on design options is a better approach than piecing it together step by step over an extended period of time.

"We think it's important to look at the project as a whole," she said. "There is money being spent on the front end, but we think it's money well spent."

Considering the project is in early stages, overall cost estimates are unknown.

To provide input, officials suggest visiting http://www.townoftruckee.com or filling out a comment card at a future event. Emails can be sent to Assistant Engineer Scott Mathot at smathot@townoftruckee.com.

What is Envision DPR?

The Envision DPR project proposes a number of improvements on Truckee’s busiest road between the McIver roundabout near Brickelltown and Cold Stream Road on the west end of town near Donner Memorial State Park.

The first phase of construction wouldn’t occur until 2016, and would be partially funded by a $1.5 million grant from the federal Highway Safety Improvement Program, according to previous reports.

Improvements would likely include streetscape beautification, new and upgraded sidewalks, crossings and bike lanes, as well as improved traffic flow and calming. Roundabouts and other highway dividers are also being mulled, although alternatives still are being developed. Visit http://www.EnvisionDPR.com to learn more.