Plaza will open up lake views in Tahoe City |

Plaza will open up lake views in Tahoe City

Submitted graphicThe Tahoe City Public Utility District is spearheading a new community plaza, the Truckee River Outlet Project.

Along with Commons Beach and Heritage Plaza, the Tahoe City Public Utility District is spearheading a new community plaza, the Truckee River Outlet Project.

The $1.8 million project, which is located around the dam at Fanny Bridge, will be completed by Oct. 12, said Cindy Gustafson, utility district assistant general manager.

“The most significant part of this project is opening up this area to the public, which had been in private ownership for over 30 years,” Gustafson said. “[We’re] making the area accessible to visitors and residents to enjoy.”

The project area is more than half an acre and includes 15 parking spaces, seat walls, benches, landscaping, interpretive signs, Lakeside Trail bike path connections and a 16-foot colored concrete and brass map of Lake Tahoe.

The outlet is part of phase two of the Lakeside Trail project, and will connect the paved bike trail to Mackinaw Road. Additionally, Mackinaw Road will be reconstructed for better drainage and road width.

Environmental upgrades have been a key piece in these projects, said Gustafson, including storm drainage treatment and re-vegetation.

Retaining walls will be put in place to stabilize the steep bank along the river, as well as provide support for an overlook.

A significant amount of the project’s cost is dedicated to utility relocation, said Gustafson. The electrical, cable, water and sewer lines have been upgraded for better service or transferred from inside the dam to ease operations.

Almost $1.5 million of the cost came from the South Nevada Public Lands Management Act, with other funding from the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association and Placer County.

Finally, new signs, striping and pedestrian barriers will serve to enhance pedestrian and vehicle traffic at the wye.

Bill Briner, a former general manager of the utility district in the late ’70s and early ’80s and longtime local, was a large part of opening the property to the public, said Gustafson.

The project will help the financial future of Tahoe City, Briner said.

“The whole idea behind [the project] originally was because I wanted to open up the lake to the people who came to see it,” Briner said. “I think Tahoe City is becoming more and more recognized as an economic center for North Tahoe.”

An opening celebration is in the works for the mid-October project completion.

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