Truckee puts more money into Mousehole planning | SierraSun.com

Truckee puts more money into Mousehole planning

Greyson Howard
Sierra Sun

photo courtesy of CaltransThis rendering of what the Truckee mousehole could become is the option preferred by the Town of Truckee. It includes a new bridge over a four-lane highway and sidewalks.

Now that Truckee Town Council has picked a preferred fix for the Mousehole, Caltrans could complete planning efforts by spring 2009.

In December council decided to go with a course of action that combined two earlier options ” potentially first boring a second tunnel for pedestrians and cyclists next to the Highway 89 south railroad undercrossing, and following that when funding becomes available with an entirely new bridge.

Now Caltrans has asked for, and the town approved Feb. 7, an additional $820,000 to complete project approval and environmental clearance, bringing the total to $1,920,000.

“The money being spent is not local, it’s federal,” said Public Works Director Dan Wilkins last Thursday. “Three years ago [Congressman John] Doolittle’s office got $2.8 million earmarked for the Town of Truckee to develop the Mousehole project.”

This funding is only for planning and environmental work, however, and money to actually build the bridge, which is estimated to cost between $46 million and $52 million, has not yet been secured.

The bridge would allow for sidewalks, bike lanes, and up to four lanes of traffic, according to staff reports, addressing both traffic and safety issues that the town set out to fix.