Groundbreaking on Kings Beach Commercial Core Improvement Projec - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Groundbreaking on Kings Beach Commercial Core Improvement Project

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Construction started earlier this month on the Kings Beach Commercial Core Improvement Project. On Monday, an official groundbreaking was held near Lake Tahoe.

The $50 million project starts on Highway 28 from Secline to Chipmunk streets, along with the areas around it. Once it's done, there will be a new way to limit sediment runoff from the highway to the lake. Another goal is to make the area more pedestrian and bicycle-friendly.

"It's not just water quality," said Peter Kraatz, Assistant Director of Public Works for Placer County. "It's a complete street project for making it safer, and dedicating more space for pedestrians and bicycles to get around the community and improving access for public transit."

The project was approved in 2010. Since then, Placer County worked with the community to make the final design.

"I think it's a good compromise," said Brian Hoyt, a Kings Beach resident. "Nothing is perfect. It's going to slow down traffic, and it's going to make for traffic jams here in the summertime. But, I think the payoff for that is the safety that it will afford is well-worth it."

Crews are taking a four-lane highway, and cutting it down to three lanes. That's so they can make room for five-foot bike lanes on on both sides, along with wider sidewalks.

"The sidewalks are at least six-foot wide everywhere we can," said Brian Stephenson, Project Engineer. "It's A.D.A.- (Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990) compliant on both sides, north and south side of the highway."

Crews will also build two roundabouts on the highway to slow down traffic. The first will be at Bear Street, while the other will be situated at Coon Street.

"The roundabouts are the current design for pedestrian crossings," Stephenson said.

They're also working on putting in speed bumps in surrounding neighborhoods.

"It's kind of fun to watch people slow down," Hoyt said. "I used to see them going 45-50 miles an hour going down the hill."

On top of that, crews are working on a way to limit the sediment that goes from the street into the lake.

"The urban runoff is known and scientifically-proven to be the big degrader of clarity in Tahoe," Kraatz said.

So, Kraatz said they're building an underground pipeline.

"A lot of underground piping and vaults that collects that water and filter it, and take out the sediment and discharges as much clean storm water that runs off into the lake."

After doing research, they've projected a major difference.

"We're projected that 88,000 lbs. comes off the community a year," Kraatz said. "We're looking to cut that in nearly half from the storm water improvements that we're building as part of this project."

Placer County officials say they're hoping to be completely finished with the project in 2016,

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