Letter to the Editor: Highway 89 repave an investment worth making | SierraSun.com

Letter to the Editor: Highway 89 repave an investment worth making

This is in response to a letter from a reader raising questions about the upcoming resurfacing of State Route 89 (Highway 89 Repave project a waste of money, September 22).

The work that will be done to resurface Highway 89 from Squaw Valley Road to West River Street in 2012 is being undertaken in order to protect the roadway from further pavement failure and save taxpayer dollars.

Stretches of Highway 89 have had extensive pavement failure, including cracking, rutting and insufficient water drainage that threaten the roadbed. These pavement failures extend throughout the width of the roadway, including the shoulders, presenting particular challenges for cyclists.

Highway 89 was last completely resurfaced shoulder-to-shoulder nearly 20 years ago, in 1993-94. The travel lanes received additional resurfacing in various projects during 2003 and#8211; 2006, but excluded the bike lanes/shoulders. In recent years, Caltrans crews have increasingly had to repair major stretches of the travel lanes and shoulders to prevent further erosion, correct water drainage problems, and improve safety. The price of continued repairs would be comparable to rehabilitating the roadway as proposed with the current project. Additionally, the inconvenience to motorists and the risk to road workers is less to get the job done in one season than it would be to continue to repair the roadway each year.

Caltrans recognizes what a vital artery Highway 89 is to the Tahoe Basin. A complete pavement rehabilitation project will extend the pavement life by at least ten years, restore ride quality, improve drainage, and significantly reduce future maintenance needs saving taxpayer dollars. It will also reduce delays and the public inconvenience that comes with road maintenance projects. And all of this will be done in one construction season. Thatand#8217;s an investment worth making.

Jody Jones

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Caltrans Director and#8211; District 3