North Lake Tahoe bike path construction delayed until 2016 | SierraSun.com

North Lake Tahoe bike path construction delayed until 2016

Josh Staab
jstaab@sierrasun.com

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — The wait just got a little longer for those anticipating the years-sought bike path from Incline Village to Sand Harbor State Park.

The Tahoe Fund, the nonprofit responsible for raising money to help fund the path, announced Friday the original start date of summer 2015 will not be possible.

Construction of the path's first mile is now tentatively scheduled to begin May 2016, said Amy Berry, CEO of Tahoe Fund, with the final two miles eyed for 2017.

"While we have focused our efforts on the bike path, the reality is that the bike path is just one component of the greater Route 28 Corridor Management Project that includes new parking areas along the route and other safety improvements," she wrote in a statement to investors and donors.

That much-larger project led by the Tahoe Transportation District addresses Highway 28 from the California-Nevada state line at Crystal Bay, through Incline Village and to the U.S. Highway 50 intersection at Spooner Summit.

It's required extensive engineering review, Berry said, thus delaying the bike path to ensure the entire project flows smoothly.

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While the bike path is expected to bring "world-class walking, running and biking" to Lake Tahoe, she said the 10-foot-wide, three-mile paved path also will provide improved safety for pedestrians and motorists along a dangerous portion of the East Shore.

It will be separated from the highway, beginning at the Lakeshore Drive intersection and expanding that road's current bike path to Sand Harbor State Park, providing access via a tunnel under Highway 28 to Hidden Beach, and access to Memorial Point and other scenic vistas.

While the delay is frustrating, Berry said it gives the nonprofit time to raise more funds to add to the $1 million-plus in local donations from more than 300 donors the fund has secured over the past year.

"We're challenging the community to get involved with the project," said Berry, adding that additional fundraising would be used to pad reserves to fund long-term infrastructure sustainability.

The bike path will account for approximately $13 million (most of that has come from federal, state, Washoe County and local grants) of the overall Highway 28 management project's $23 million cost, Berry said.

"The bike path is kind of the cornerstone of all of it, but it takes time," Berry said. "We understand it's a big project and it's taken a lot of time to get to this point."

To learn more about the Tahoe Fund or to donate, visit tahoefund.org, email info@tahoefund.org or call 775-298-0035.