Historic Fanny Bridge eyed for overhaul | SierraSun.com

Historic Fanny Bridge eyed for overhaul

Jason Shueh
Sierra Sun

Sun File photoPedestrians cross Fanny Bridge in Tahoe City. The historic bridge is due for a makeover.

TAHOE CITY, Calif. and#8212; A historic piece of Tahoe City could receive a major overhaul as transportation officials are calling for the two-lane Fanny Bridge to be reconstructed into four lanes with potential roundabouts on either end.

According to the Tahoe Transportation District (TTD), the project and#8212; dubbed the SR 89/Fanny Bridge Community Revitalization Project and#8212; is still in the scoping period as five alternatives are being explored for the bridge.

Fanny Bridge, which has served as a gateway between the north and west shores of Lake Tahoe since it was built in 1928, does not accommodate current levels of traffic congestion and could be susceptible to a significant earthquake.

Pending final approvals from the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) after a formal Environmental Impact Report is conducted, the TTD said they target 2014-15 to break ground.

Payment for the project is hoped to be funded through various federal and state sources, which the TTD stated could include funds from Placer County and Prop 1B, a seismic retrofit program.

Primary reasons for the rebuild, according to the TTD, were to accommodate peak traffic congestion now and over an extended period, support the bridge with needed structural rehabilitation, provide emergency access and evacuation routes and to make the and#8220;Wyeand#8221; area leading into Tahoe City safer for pedestrians and cyclists in addition to reducing fine sediments from entering Lake Tahoe.

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Carl Hasty, TTD district manager, said in a press release that better emergency access was one of his primary concerns, especially during fire emergencies.

and#8220;An increase in the number of vehicles that are able to evacuate this area during an emergency situation is something we’ve taken into serious consideration in relation to all our goals for this project,and#8221; Hasty said.

While the TTD listed many reasons for the construction, it also stated the alternatives may not bring traffic congestion to standardized acceptable levels during the summer periods when congestion is at its height.

The current level of service for the Fanny Bridge intersection is rated an and#8220;Fand#8221; for northbound traffic, yet the TTD and TRPA said the physical constraints, such as the two lanes of both highways 89 and 28, could be a large part of that failing grade.

and#8220;The project has physical and environmental constraints that limit the opportunity for substantial LOS (level of service) improvement,and#8221; said the TTD and TRPA in their joint Notice of Preparation for a future Environmental Impact Report.

Since January 2011, the TTD has made outreach presentations about the project in the Tahoe City community. The next meeting to discuss the project will be held Jan. 11, 2012 by the TRPA Advisory Planning Commission, beginning at 9:30 a.m. in the TRPA board room, 128 Market Street in Stateline, Nev.