Truckee to chase money for Mousehole | SierraSun.com

Truckee to chase money for Mousehole

Greyson Howard
Sierra Sun

The Truckee Town Council will appoint a committee to study the replacement of the Highway 89 south railroad undercrossing, known as the Mousehole, when the council meets this evening at Truckee Town Hall.

The council will search for funds to keep the project moving forward.

Work to modify or replace the narrow tunnel that connects Truckee to Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows and Tahoe City has been a town priority for a number of years because of the hazard it creates for pedestrians and cyclists. Prospects for additional funding have emerged, prompting the council to renew its interest in the project.

Truckee previously secured $2.8 million in federal transportation funds for the Mousehole project, but with the passage of state transportation bonds 1A and 1B, Truckee has another possible source of funding for a project that initial estimates suggest could cost as much as $30 million.

Despite council’s direction to Caltrans to narrow down the options for the Mousehole from five to two (adding a second pedestrian tunnel to the existing tunnel, or replacing the entire railroad crossing with a new bridge), the town may have to seek funding from the state bonds before a final design is completed.

“It’s a challenge; the funding opportunities are here now, and we don’t know when the next time they might come down the pipe,” said Town Manager Tony Lashbrook.

Town council this evening will consider the appointment of two council members to a subcommittee focusing on the Mousehole and funding, and will also consider the formation of a citizen’s or stakeholder’s ad-hoc committee as well, Lashbrook said.

The council subcommittee would look for funding sources, while the stakeholders would give input on environmental, pedestrian, bicycle and historical impacts of potential new designs, Lashbrook said.