Salt and sand barn plans being revised by state | SierraSun.com

Salt and sand barn plans being revised by state

David Bunker
Sierra Sun

Plans for a Caltrans salt and sand barn at the mouth of Negro Canyon are being reworked by the state agency to protect Upper Gregory Creek and to ensure that hikers and skiers can access the canyon throughout the year.

While the new plans have not been completed the changes are expected to move the proposed facility further from Upper Gregory Creek, according to Caltrans spokeswoman Jan Mendoza.

The salt and sand barn will be used to keep Interstate 80 open during the winter. It will replace a rusting Caltrans facility near Boreal Ski Resort.

The Town of Truckee, which lobbied for the changes, is hoping that the revised plans are vastly different from the initial proposal, said Truckee Town Manager Tony Lashbrook.

Lashbrook, Nevada County Supervisor Ted Owens and representatives from California State Senator Dave Cox’s office walked the site with Caltrans officials recently to discuss the project.

Lashbrook said allowing for trailhead parking should be an easy fix.

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“As you look at the project and the site there are multiple opportunities to provide trailhead parking,” he said.

Owens said Caltrans had agreed to allow parking in the area during the group’s visit to the site.

“They were amenable to constructing a trailhead parking area and possibly even clearing it in the winter,” Owens said.

Protecting Gregory Creek and allowing public access were two of

the biggest concerns the town and county voiced over the initial proposal. If those two issues are resolved the project will be much improved, said Owens, although it may not please everyone.

“There are some folks in town that would like to see nothing there,” he said. “But if you are Caltrans and you are looking at highway safety, logistically it is located perfectly.”

Both Owens and Lashbrook said they will wait to see how the revised plans turn out before judging the salt and sand barn proposal.

Caltrans officials were unsure when when the revised plans would be completed, Mendoza said.