Next roundabout to break ground | SierraSun.com

Next roundabout to break ground

Greyson Howard
Sierra Sun
Emma Garrard/Sierra Sun file photoA pickup truck drives through the Gray's Crossing roundabout soon after it was completed last fall. The Town of Truckee has entered into a cooperative agreement with Caltrans and East West to build two roundabouts on Highway 89 north.
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Construction on the first of two planned Highway 89 north roundabouts is slated to begin Monday.

Located at Donner Pass Road and Highway 89 north, the two-lane roundabout will be constructed as part of a collaborative agreement between East West Partners, the owners of the nearby Gray’s Crossing Development, the Town of Truckee, and Caltrans. The four-way rotary intersection will include a new access road into Gray’s Crossing affordable rental units.

“We got the Caltrans permits [Wednesday] morning, and we will start water drainage BMPs and signage [Thursday], and start digging on Monday,” said Jeff Butterworth, project manager for Gray’s Crossing and Old Greenwood.

“Construction should take us up through October to complete, and it’s more likely we will finish up landscaping next year.”

He said in the first two to three weeks, most work will be outside the roadway. But when construction begins on the road itself, flaggers will have to stop traffic and reduce traffic to one lane during the day.

“We will be backing up traffic on occasion, but we will avoid morning and night rushes,” Butterworth said.

In a letter sent to nearby residents, Butterworth suggested using Alder Drive to Comstock Drive to avoid construction delays, especially when school starts again.

No construction is scheduled during nighttime hours, he said.

Caltrans spokeswoman Shelly Chernicki said the state agency won’t be working directly on the project, instead overseeing the work of contractors.

The fourth access point planned in the new roundabout will serve Gray’s Crossing 92 affordable rental units. Managers started taking applications in April, but cannot allow tenants to move in until road access is available.

“We need the road to be functional in both directions for people to move in, and we are hoping to get there in four to six weeks,” Butterworth said.

Both the first roundabout and a second planned for next year at the intersection of Highway 89 north and Alder Drive/ Prosser Dam Road, are being paid for by East West Partners as part of the construction agreement for Gray’s Crossing.

Butterworth said the combined price tag is coming in around $5 million, slightly higher than anticipated because of the delays to the second roundabout.

The Alder Drive/Prosser Dam roundabout was originally planned for this year, but archeological findings of Chinese artifacts delayed the project.

Butterworth said a study of the discoveries is well under way and should be completed by September, in time to allow construction to begin next May.