Truckee to ground powerlines on Donner Pass Road |

Truckee to ground powerlines on Donner Pass Road

Starting next week the Town of Truckee will begin revamping Donner Pass Road from Richards Boulevard to State Route 89, marking the beginning stages of a community project, Envision DPR.

First envisioned in 2015 as a way to better the appearance of Donner Pass Road, the project will begin by grounding all overhead utilities along the road.

At a June 25 council meeting the council awarded C&D contractors a $2,962,934 contract to move existing overhead utilities, including TDPUD electric, AT&T telephone, and Suddenlink cable to underground facilities along Donner Pass Road. The town’s total adopted construction budget is $3,050,000.

A staff report states the undergrounding of facilities was expected to add 20 to 40 percent in total project expenses for Envision DPR compared to leaving the existing utilities.

Independent of the town’s contract, each utility provider will be removing the existing poles, wires and other facilities, and providing the labor, wires, and everything else to convert the overhead facilities to underground. Construction on the utility undergrounding project is expected to go on until October. Poles supporting the overhead utilities are expected to be removed by the end of December.

The entire Envision DPR project includes improvements to sidewalks, crosswalks, bike lanes, medians at select locations and additional landscaping with a goal “to enhance pedestrian, bicycle and vehicle facilities and improve overall street appearance,” according to a staff report.

The entire project will be completed in phases starting with the utility undergrounding project. Next summer Phase 1 of road improvements are expected to begin followed by construction of a roundabout at Northwoods Blvd. and Donner Pass Road in the summer of 2020.

The town did receive a $1.5 million in Highway Safety Improvement Program to help pay for the project. However these funds will only support Phase 1 of the project, which do not include the costs for the utility undergrounding project.

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

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