North Lake Tahoe projects seek to aid traffic congestion, promote tourism | SierraSun.com

North Lake Tahoe projects seek to aid traffic congestion, promote tourism

Hannah Jones
hjones@sierrasun.com

Road work and development projects in North Lake Tahoe and Truckee slowing motorists today are underway with the promise of a smoother ride down the road.

Between major projects like the Railyard, Fanny Bridge, Envision Donner Pass Road and the Resort Triangle Trail project residents can expect to see eight new roundabouts, two new bridges in Tahoe City and 25 miles of trails in coming years.

According to Dan Wilkins, Truckee public works director, the Railyard parking lot in downtown Truckee will be completed in the next three to four weeks. With its completion, traffic will be diverted straight along the parking lot then north through a roundabout that will be completed by October.

The Fanny Bridge project, which began in early May will see the construction of three new roundabouts, a rebuild of Fanny Bridge and an additional bridge built to divert State Route 89 traffic away from the historic bridge. It also includes the realignment of SR-89 to match new road plans, and other street improvements along West Lake Boulevard.

“Now we’ll have two roads to cross the Truckee River. There will be less traffic congestion. That’s the idea with this project.”

— Peter Kraatz, Placer County deputy director of public works

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"Now we'll have two roads to cross the Truckee River," Peter Kraatz, Placer County deputy director of public works said at Tuesday's Good Morning Truckee event at the airport. "There will be less traffic congestion. That's the idea with this project."

However, Kraatz said construction next year "may be a bit more painful."

"Where we want to advance in the next few years is expanding parking in Tahoe City," said Kraatz, suggesting a formal parking district similar to Truckee.

Truckee's Envision DPR project began in mid July with the grounding of all overhead utilities along the road from Richards Boulevard to State Route 89. The project includes the installation of four new roundabouts over the next 10 years with improvements to sidewalks, crosswalks, bike lanes and medians at select locations. Next summer the first phase of road improvements are expected to begin, followed by construction of a roundabout at Northwoods Boulevard and Donner Pass Road in the summer of 2020.

The Resort Triangle Trial system is another project planned to alleviate traffic congestion by offering alternate forms of transportation on a Class 1 bike trail in a loop around Truckee, Tahoe City and Kings Beach.

Currently, a paved trail exists from Dollar Point through Tahoe City to Squaw Valley resort. The trail picks back up in Truckee at the Legacy Bike Trail and stops near the Truckee Airport. The Resort Triangle trail project aims to connect all sections of the trail, allowing residents and visitors an alternative form of transportation around North Lake Tahoe.

"We really want to maximize users," said Kraatz. "We're hopeful that with all the momentum of trails in the Truckee region, this trail will come to fruition."

Hannah Jones is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at hjones@sierrasun.com or 530-550-2652.