Town schedules workshop on Tahoe Donner access road
Motorists who are weary of entering and exiting Tahoe Donner via Northwoods Boulevard during the winter months could find something to interest them in a special town council workshop Aug. 18, when town staff will present information on a proposed third access road for Tahoe Donner.
“The purpose of the meeting will be to present traffic analyses of the alternatives and receive input from the public regarding the project,” Town Engineer Dan Wilkins said. “The central focus is on an east-west connector between Tahoe Donner and Highway 89 North. There’s also the possibility of a north-south connection tying the east-west road to Bridge Street.”
Wilkins said the workshop is the first step toward building the road, as the town tries to figure out the benefits of each route vs. the costs and the environmental impacts.
He said there are currently two logical locations to tie in the eastern end of the road, either at Sha Neva Road or at Alder Road, as well as two locations under consideration to tie into Northwoods Boulevard.
On Northwoods, he said the road could either be connected at the Northwoods and Northwoods intersection, or further to the south, along the power line easement at the north edge of Truckee Falls Golf Course.
“If the power line easement is feasible, the road could be constructed with much less environmental impact,” Wilkins said.
Also under consideration are options for the Bridge Street connection – which could run on either the east or west side of Trout Creek.
“There’s an existing graded roadway up the east side,” Wilkins said. “It would make the most sense from a construction standpoint to follow that alignment.”
He said there are a number of private property owners along the proposed alignments of the connector roads.
“We hope the property owners will come out and let us know their position, so we can get a handle on the reaction of the folks whose property we could be impacting,” Wilkins said.
Preliminary traffic studies provided to the town indicate that a third access road for Tahoe Donner could reduce traffic on Donner Pass Road by 20 to 30 percent, Wilkins said. Also, the east-west road could be built with a four to five percent grade, much less steep than the 10 percent grade of Northwoods Boulevard.
“Based on the preliminary analysis, it looks like there would be a lot of traffic benefit,” Wilkins said. “There would be much more access to the Highway 267 corridor.”
In addition, he said the third access road would allow the town to close the face of Northwoods Boulevard when weather is extremely bad and numerous accidents pose a threat to drivers.
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