Truckee trail segment, Trout Creek restoration celebrated | SierraSun.com

Truckee trail segment, Trout Creek restoration celebrated

Margaret Moran
mmoran@sierrsun.com

TRUCKEE, Calif. — Safer access to downtown and less automobile traffic — those are just some benefits officials and community members envision with future completion of the Trout Creek Trail.

"I think what makes any mountain community really strong is the opportunity for that community to interconnect all of the neighborhoods, and this is a big piece of that — connecting a very large neighborhood to downtown," said Forrest Huisman, director of capital projects at Tahoe Donner.

The trail is being built in two phases and will ultimately help connect Tahoe Donner, one of nation's largest homeowner associations, with nearly 6,500 properties and 25,000 members, to downtown Truckee.

The completed phase — a 3,730-foot-long, 10-foot-wide section of paved path — stretches from Indian Jack Road to intersect the dirt portion of Euer Valley Road just east of the Coyote Moon Golf Course, said Jessica Thompson, a town of Truckee senior engineer.

Construction for that section cost $1.13 million, with funding paid through a property tax surcharge to Tahoe Donner residents, Thompson said.

"(It gives) people a much safer, a much more scenic path to get from Tahoe Donner to downtown and back," said Truckee Mayor Patrick Flora at a ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday for the section.

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Work on the final section is expected to start next summer, with completion in one season, Thompson said. When complete, the entire trail will be about 1.5 miles long, connecting Northwoods Boulevard near Coyote Moon Golf Course to downtown Truckee at Bridge Street.

"It's really going to change the dynamics of downtown and how people are getting in and out," Huisman said. "It's definitely going to decrease our demand for vehicle traffic in and out of downtown on Truckee Thursdays and other big events like Fourth of July, so it's really a win-win for the community."

TROUT CREEK RESTORATION

Another ribbon cutting ceremony took place Wednesday for completion of "Reach 1" of the Trout Creek Restoration Project.

"Those of you that knew what this looked like before the project can appreciate … what a huge improvement this is over the concrete channel that we had previously," Flora said before roughly 35 people. "Pretty much every kind of flood event that we have, this is one of the worst spots in town, so we're expecting this to be much better moving forward."

Extending from the Donner Pass Road crossing approximately 500 feet upstream from the Assumption Catholic Church and Chapman Family Trust properties, this creek section is now wider by 25 feet and deeper by eight feet, said Todd Landry, town senior engineer, thereby allowing the creek to handle a volume of 850 cubic feet per second, up from about 250 cfs.

"That translates to about a flood protection capacity of flooding once every 10 years to flooding once every 100 years," Landry said.

It's an improvement Truckee resident Melody Rebbeck welcomes.

"To mitigate flooding problems is huge," she said. "The last few years (there) hasn't been high water, but it's a real threat … to our economy and also to safety. … We had a flood one year here where you're walking down downtown and businesses are shut down, people in their homes are not spending money."

Cost for Reach 1 was about $2 million, of which roughly $1.5 million was for construction, Landry said. Funding sources included California Department of Water Resources (supplemental Prop 50 funding), Truckee Donner Public Utility District, Truckee Sanitary District, town of Truckee Redevelopment Successor Agency Bond Funds and facilities impact fees.

The project is part of a five-reach master plan to restore Trout Creek from Jibboom Street to the Truckee River. Two other reaches were completed in 2006 and 2011, Landry said.

The last two reaches will be done when funding becomes available, according to the town.