‘Challenges’ ahead for Kings Beach snow removal, county says | SierraSun.com

‘Challenges’ ahead for Kings Beach snow removal, county says

Margaret Moran
mmoran@sierrasun.com

The recently installed Coon Street roundabout is one of several improvements made in Kings Beach as part of the “Core of the Core” work done this construction season.

KINGS BEACH, Calif. — The new highway and sidewalk layout for a North Lake Tahoe community will make snow removal operations a learning experience this winter, officials said.

Caltrans will continue to plow Highway 28 in Kings Beach — which was reduced this summer from four lanes to three, with two roundabouts — while an independent contractor will provide snow removal on completed sidewalks.

"There will be challenges with the new improvements with regards to snow removal," said Peter Kraatz, assistant director of Placer County Department of Public Works. "We always knew it would not be easy, as it is a significant change to the road network in Kings Beach, but other mountain communities do it successfully, and we will, too."

The county is in the process of hiring an independent contractor, who will clear about a five-foot-wide path on completed sidewalks for pedestrians, Kraatz said.

The contract is part of a larger winter maintenance bid package for county facilities in Tahoe City and Kings Beach, he said.

Aside from the five-foot cleared path, the rest of the sidewalks will be used to store snow, Kraatz said.

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Storage capacity of the new sidewalks is unknown currently, he said. If there is excess sidewalk snow, the contractor will be responsible for locating off-site areas to store it, although the highway is off-limits.

In past years, the county used contractors to clear the sidewalks in front of the Brook and Minnow parking lots in Kings Beach, Kraatz said.

In heavy snow storms, excess snow was stored in a portion of those two parking lots and could be a option this winter.

"… There may be times where the sidewalks are not cleared of snow immediately," Kraatz said. "The road and highway network will take precedence during those times."

In heavy storms, Caltrans will plow snow to the middle turn lane before hauling it away with a snowblower and dump trucks, said Deanna Shoopman, chief of public information and graphic services for Caltrans.

Placer County will fund sidewalk maintenance this winter rather than assessing local parcel owners, since Core of the Core work isn't complete, Kraatz said.

This winter, snow removal will be done on both sides of Highway 28 between Bear and Coon streets, all crosswalks on both roundabouts, the sidewalk along the south side of Brook Avenue, and the sidewalk along the west side of Coon Street between Brook Avenue and the highway, according to the county.

The sidewalk snow removal plan will be monitored and adjusted as needed, Kraatz said.

Core of the Core

The Core of the Core project — expected to take at least two construction seasons — is the first phase in the $50 million, two-phased Kings Beach Commercial Core Improvement Project, an initiative to upgrade and improve the 1.1-mile section of Highway 28 through town.

When work on the Core of the Core resumes next spring, crews will focus on surface improvements, according to Placer County.

Visit kingsbeachcore.info to get updates and learn more about the project.