Funds nearly secured for Truckee Mousehole project

Margaret Moran
The town of Truckee continues to pursue the construction of a second tunnel, east of the Mousehole on Highway 89, to ensure the safety of cyclists and pedestrains, like this man, who was walking through the main tunnel last winter.
File photo | Sierra Sun

TRUCKEE, Calif. — A significant portion of construction funding needed for the Highway 89 mini Mousehole project has been secured.

The project, which will build a pedestrian/bicycle railroad undercrossing east of the existing Mousehole tunnel, was recently selected to receive $1.5 million in federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) funds.

“We’re moving ahead very well, and we’re getting ready to do this thing finally,” said Truckee Mayor Carolyn Wallace Dee.

Project development and construction is estimated to cost nearly $12 million, with between $600,000 to $1.9 million still needed to be raised, said Becky Bucar, associate engineer for the town of Truckee.

The town will likely request additional Regional Transportation Improvement Program funds to help close the gap, Bucar said.

Secured project funding is a mix of federal, state and local dollars, according to previous reports.

Project designs are 95 percent complete, with final completion expected in early 2014, Bucar said. Union Pacific Railroad Company has indicated it needs final plans before proceeding with the town’s purchase of a Highway 89 easement.

The town anticipates putting the project out to bid at the end of 2014, with construction starting in 2015. The tunnel is expected to take two construction seasons to complete.

The mini Mousehole is one of 52 transportation projects in 37 states to receive approximately $474 million in TIGER funding. Of the projects selected, 25 are in rural parts of the country.

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