Town optimistic about bypass agreement
Town Manager Steve Wright said an agreement between Caltrans and the Town of Truckee regarding the 267 bypass seems likely, after two meetings with Caltrans officials this week.
“Mayor Drake and Dan Landon (executive officer of the Nevada County Transportation Committee) met with District Director Irene Itamuro from Caltrans on Monday,” Wright said. “We had a follow-up meeting with the staff yesterday which may result in a cooperative agreement to accomplish both Caltrans’ goals and the community’s needs in regard to the bypass.”
Wright said the proposed agreement would require the town to pay for the engineering work which would revise the bypass plan to retain two ramps. He said the Caltrans engineers have no time to work on the revisions to the plan, and would need the town’s assistance.
“The town has money set aside for bypass-related improvements,” Wright said. “That’s the money I would ask the council to spend on the engineering.”
He said the remaining piece of the puzzle would be to get Caltrans to agree to pay for the cost of the improvements.
“We worked with the Caltrans staff yesterday to reduce the cost of the changes,” Wright said. “If the designs work out, the additional construction cost would be about $1 million, not counting the additional engineering costs.”
Caltrans and the town are working against an approaching deadline, and decisions must be made quickly, Wright said.
“Caltrans must have a biddable project design by June, including an environmental review,” Wright said. “We must proceed immediately to get the issues resolved. That’s why I put it on the agenda for this week.”
A reply from Itamuro is expected before the town council meeting at 6 p.m. tonight, when Wright will present the matter to the council members.
In addition, the citizens advisory committee formed after the public hearing on the bypass issue earlier this month has approved of the proposal.
“We knew of the meetings (with Caltrans) and had
pre-scheduled a meeting of the citizens advisory committee,” Wright said. “They unanimously agreed that the council should proceed with the cooperative agreement. However, they also agreed that if the arrangement falls through the decision should be appealed to a higher authority within Caltrans.”
The town hopes to retain the eastbound off-ramp and the westbound on-ramp at the Interstate 80 interchange with Highway 89.
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Motorists on Interstate 80 should expect delays today as the California Department of Transportation continues work on the $2.5 million Farad rockfall project.