Two more roundabouts planned for Truckee | SierraSun.com

Two more roundabouts planned for Truckee

Greyson Howard
Sierra Sun
Emma Garrard/Sierra SunA pickup truck drives through the recently constructed roundabout in Gray's Crossing Monday afternoon. The Town of Truckee has entered a cooperative agreement with Caltrans and East West Partners to build two roundabouts on Highway 89 north.
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The Town of Truckee will add two more roundabouts to its road system by 2008.

The Truckee Town Council Thursday authorized the town to enter into a cooperative agreement with East West Partners, owners of Gray’s Crossing, and Caltrans, to add two new roundabouts on Highway 89 north.

The first roundabout ” at Donner Pass Road and Highway 89 north ” is scheduled for 2007, and the second ” at Highway 89 north and Alder Drive and Prosser Dam Road ” will be constructed in 2008.

The three-way Donner Pass Road intersection with Highway 89 will become a four-way roundabout by including a new access route to Gray’s Crossing, said Senior Engineer Todd Landry at the Nov. 16 town council meeting.

The town originally hoped to construct both roundabouts in 2007, Landry said, but archaeological findings at the Alder Drive and Prosser Dam Road intersection have delayed work.

“They found Chinese artifacts in the northeast quadrant of the intersection,” Landry said. “It has held us up on the turn pocket.”

A left-turn pocket was scheduled for construction in September as an interim solution for northbound traffic turning left at Alder Drive, but the discovery of what may have been a “Chinese store” has delayed the pocket until next summer, Landry said.

He said building the two roundabouts within a year of one another will present other challenges as well.

“Caltrans is concerned about high-speed southbound traffic on 89 not being slowed by the first roundabout (Alder Drive and Prosser Dam Road) when it reaches the second (Donner Pass Road),” Landry said.

Landry said the plan originally submitted to Caltrans scheduled construction of both roundabouts at the same time. He said he was confident that town staff could find another solution to regulating speed going into the Donner Pass Road roundabout.

The total cost for the two roundabouts will be about $4.75 million, which, according to the construction agreement for Gray’s Crossing, will be paid by East West Partners.

Town Attorney Dennis Crabb said this was the first time he was aware of Caltrans agreeing to enter such an agreement with a private developer.

“This is a public-private partnership like the Martis Valley roundabout ” on steroids,” Crabb said.

Work on the Martis Valley and Brockway Road roundabout was a partnership between the town, the Greens at Ponderosa and Ponderosa Village, in which the two developers were responsible for 35 percent of the budget.

Crabb said this agreement gives the town a high level of control over the project.