Ground breaks for first phase of Gray’s Crossing |

Ground breaks for first phase of Gray’s Crossing

Photo by Josh Miller/Sierra Sun A track hoe at the Grey's Crossing construction site drops a root ball to knock the dirt off.

Heavy equipment is carving into the woods on the western side of Highway 89 north to make way for phase one of the Gray’s Crossing subdivision.Crews are cutting roads and infrastructure paths that will mark the 101 custom home lots and 57 affordable housing units just off the highway and Alder Drive. East West Partners, the developer of Gray’s Crossing, hopes to have the roads and ground work complete by the end of the construction season. The infrastructure for the 57 affordable units may also be in, said East West Partners Project Manager Rick McConn, with actual construction of the units beginning next construction season. Future phases of development that will take place on the other side of Highway 89 north will add more than 400 residential units, a golf course and retail and commercial space.Q & D Construction is the general contractor for the initial phase of the project, organizing the large dump trucks and earthmovers that have already cleared the road paths within the subdivision’s boundaries. The Reno-based firm that has laid pipe for Sierra Pacific Power since the 1980s was the only one to bid the project, said Jared Northon, formerly with Q & D, and now construction manager with East West Partners. The only unusual event on the construction site was the discovery of the historical Chinese camp. Northon said East West knew that there were historical artifacts on the property but were not aware of an entire camp. Nor were they anticipating the amount of rocks on the land.

“It’s a very rocky site,” said Northon. “It’s pretty wild to dig through.Northon said that upcoming operations might include blasting and hauling off the rock, but said the stone should not slow down development.Archaeologists have finished studying the Chinese and Washoe artifacts on an area north of Alder Drive. The information collected at the site by archaeologists will likely lead to interpretive signs near the location, said McConn. Artifacts recovered from the dig will also either be on display at Gray’s Crossing cultural center in the subdivision’s proposed village or a similar location.While a house lot will cover the location of the Chinese camp, McConn said an interpretive site will likely include an “illustration of what the site looked like when it was functional.”

Archaeologist Susan Lindstrom said that an interpretive location or a cultural site would act as a valuable window into the past for future residents of Gray’s Crossing.”So if they’re inclined they can find out that someone was here before they were,” said Lindstrom. Preserving cultural resources

Eight historic sites and 10 prehistoric archaeological locations will be affected by the development of Gray’s Crossing, according to the California Environmental Quality Act findings for the subdivision.The mitigation measures for the sites state that if the project cannot be redesigned to avoid the prehistoric and historic features, research be conducted following the guidelines of the Heritage Resources Inventory, a document prepared for a 1999 environmental review of the site for a previous proposal. Such work was recently completed on the western portion of the site.Once the research is conducted, recommendations on the site will be made and required to be implemented, the findings say.If construction activity uncovers previously undiscovered historic or prehistoric deposits or human bone, work in the immediate vicinity must stop.

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