Tahoe Pyramid Bikeway project falling into place; funding is next | SierraSun.com

Tahoe Pyramid Bikeway project falling into place; funding is next

Greyson Howard
Sierra Sun
Sun File PhotoThe Truckee River Canyon between Verdi and Glenshire presents a portion of the Tahoe-Pyramid Bikeway.

TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; Itand#8217;s a tall order, tracing the Truckee River from origin to end with a trail.

But a big piece has fallen into place, with the Truckee Donner Recreation and Park Districtand#8217;s approval last week of environmental documents for the stretch of the Tahoe Pyramid Bikeway between Truckee and the state line.

Now organizers of the 116-mile route hope the funding falls into place too.

The recreation and park district stepped up as the lead agency for the environmental review, said District General Manager Steve Randall.

and#8220;Trails are good for the community, and the board felt this was a good project,and#8221; Randall said.

The approval means the Tahoe Pyramid Bikeway is eligible for grants for which it already has applied, said Janet Phillips, bikeway president.

and#8220;We had to have that approval to stay in the running,and#8221; Phillips said.

The group applied for two grants; a Recreational Trails Program grant for $347,000, and a federal stimulus grant for $6.2 million, she said.

The Recreational Trails Program grant would get the trail from Hirschdale to Truckee, and the federal grant would take it from Hirschdale all the way to Verdi, Phillips said, all on public lands, connecting existing roads.

Some Hirschdale residents are taking issue with the bikeway, Phillips said.

and#8220;Hirschdale folks were concerned that people would wander into their neighborhood and create additional traffic,and#8221; she said.

She said clear signage could keep bikeway users on track and out of the Hirschdale neighborhood.

If the grants are awarded, construction could start next spring, and be done in two years, leaving only 20 miles east of Sparks to make the road and trail connections between the two lakes, Phillips said.

The group should know by the end of the year if it will receive the grants, Phillips said.

One potential hiccup for the Tahoe Pyramid Bikeway is Nevada Countyand#8217;s plans for two bridges in Hirschdale.

County Supervisor Ted Owens said the two aged bridges and#8212; one over the Truckee River and the other over the railroad tracks and#8212; have been in the countyand#8217;s crosshair for a few years now.

and#8220;They donand#8217;t meet current standards and are a big liability for the county,and#8221; Owens said.

County planners have been studying options to repair or replace the 1920s-era structures, and found they would have to replace them, to the tune of about $7 million, Owens said.

But with little accessed by the bridges now, the county has taken a different course and#8212; removing the bridges, and putting a new road along the north side of the river for access, saving potentially $5 million in federal funds.

and#8220;These bridges really donand#8217;t go anywhere anymore,and#8221; Owens said.

The new county road would potentially come down from the Boca/Stampede area, using the new road accessing the mine, then going down the north side of the river, he said.

As plans get fleshed out the county will likely hold a town hall meeting in Hirschdale to discuss the plan, sometime after the first of the year.

To learn more about the Tahoe Pyramid Bikeway, go to http://www.tpbikeway.org.