Truckee roads jammed by record construction season
It’s basically impossible to drive across Truckee right now and avoid getting stuck in construction delays. And if you jump on Interstate 80 to avoid town slowdowns, you’ll find you get caught up in traffic that is also just creeping along.
“It’s probably the busiest construction season we’ve seen up here ever,” said Truckee Town Engineer Dan Wilkins, adding that the gridlock is caused by a combination of projects by the town, the state and special districts, as well as the private sector.
The town has 18 individual construction crews working on projects scattered about in various neighborhoods and on major town throughways.
“Basically, everyone is in major production mode right now,” he said. “Ultimately, the work will benefit the community, but first we need to go through the pain of getting it done.”
Town offices have been flooded with calls from curious and frustrated drivers.
On Monday afternoon, traffic on Truckee roadways seemed at its worst, when afternoon lane closures on I-80 for Caltrans projects caused a major gridlock.
“On Monday, I-80 was blocked up. Traffic control on the interstate made the interstate back up and interstate drivers were coming through town, causing increased congestion on town streets,” Wilkins said. “Once the freeway opened back up, the town streets cleared up.”
The slowdowns are also compounded by the heavier traffic volume the Truckee-Tahoe area experiences in the summer, he added.
Williams Communications fiber-optic lane restoration work, which began on Glenshire Drive this week will take a break next week and then continue to move across town over the next few weeks. The town will be seal-coating selective streets and neighborhoods throughout the next few weeks for its annual slurry project, which Wilkins anticipates will be completed in the first week of August. Southwest Gas is installing gas lines, but behind the scenes mostly in Tahoe Donner and Prosser Lakeview. The Truckee-Donner Public Utility District is installing more water lines at Highway 89 South and Donner Pass Road.
“Fiber Construction repaving requires closing long stretches of roadway, and that tends to delay traffic more. It’s the nature of the work,” Wilkins said. He said the town has been trying to have the fiber-optic construction crews shorten the work zone during heavy commuting hours.
The town’s slurry project also calls for lengthy sections of road closure, he said.
Drivers: Heads up for the following road construction projects during the week of July 20-26 where you can expect delays.
Town of Truckee
– Downtown area -Williams Communications will have traffic control in the downtown area for trench restoration and repaving for its fiber-optic installation. On Thursday paving will occur on Bridge, Jibboom and Spring Streets.
-Tahoe Donner -Southwest Gas will have traffic control in the Hillside Drive area.
– Prosser Lakeview -Southwest Gas will have traffic control for work done on Laurelwood Drive, Heather Drive, Pine Forest Road and East Alder Creek Road.
– Highway 89 South – Truckee-Donner Public Utility District will begin construction on Highway 89 South from Interstate 80 to the end of Frates Lane. Expect delays at Highway 89 South and Donner Pass Road.
-Ponderosa Palisades -Advanced Asphalt will be performing slurry seal operations in the neighborhood.
-West River Street – Advanced Asphalt will be performing slurry seal operations on Thursday from McIver Crossing to Highway 89 South. West River Street will be open to eastbound traffic in this area, but closed to westbound traffic with a detour. Project should be completed by Thursday afternoon.
– Roundabout at Donner Pass Road and McIver Crossing – Advanced Asphalt will be performing slurry seal operations.
– Glenshire Drive -Advanced Asphalt completed lane restoration on Glenshire Drive from Somerset to Highway 267. On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of next week, the town will begin slurry seal operation on Glenshire Drive. Glenshire morning commuters are advised to use the Hirschdale Exit and I-80 through Wednesday, July 26.
-Donner Pass Road -Advanced Asphalt will be doing lane restoration on Friday from Spring Street to the round-a-bout until approximately 3 p.m.
Interstate 80 (Caltrans projects)
– From Kingvale to Soda Springs -Work is underway on a $12 million project to repave the roadway. The contractor is Kiewit Pacific Company from Vancouver. The estimated completion date is November . Various lanes will be closed from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Expect delays of 5-10 minutes.
– Truckee Bypass -On I-80 and Highways 267 and 89 North, work is underway for a $33.5 million project to construct a two-lane expressway, the Truckee Bypass. The contractor is MCM/Ladd Joint Venture from North Highlands, Calif. The estimated completion date is summer 2002. Expect alternating lane closures in both directions of I-80 at various locations east of the Highway 267/89 North junction until 3 p.m. Friday. Expect round-the-clock delays of 10-15 minutes.
– East of Auburn -Motorists can expect various lane closures and delays of up to 5 minutes on east and westbound I-80 from Bowman Lake Road to Colfax from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. A Caltrans crew will be repairing potholes.
-East of Colfax -Motorists can expect the slow lane closed with delays of 5-10 minutes on east and westbound I-80 at the Yuba Gap from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. A Caltrans crew will be grinding and paving.
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Winds and cooler weather will continue through the weekend, with temperatures starting to warm up next week, the National Weather Service said.