Kurt Hildebrand

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March 10, 2014
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Survey checks Kingsbury habits

A survey is being conducted at the Lake Tahoe chamber of commerce’s website to determine how many people use Kingsbury Grade in anticipation of proposed road work on the only Douglas link between Carson Valley and Lake Tahoe

The Tahoe Transportation District, Nevada Department of Transportation and TahoeChamber are asking for input.

Construction is set to begin in the spring and continue for 18 months. Under a proposed construction plan, the grade would be closed at the summit before Memorial Day and after Labor Day during construction season. Night work would close alternate lanes in the summer.

“Survey results will be used to better understand residents’ needs and arrange adequate public transportation during construction,” organizers said.

Kingsbury was referred to as a top-priority project by Project Manager Pedro Rodriquez who spoke to county commissioners at their Stateline meeting last month.

It has been 15 years since the four-mile stretch on the Lake Tahoe side of Kingsbury Grade has been paved. The road will be stripped down more than a foot and rebuilt from scratch, according to the state.

The question is how long it will take the state to finish the work and what means they will use to control the estimated 5,000 vehicles a day coming over the summit.

The Nevada Department of Transportation Board of Directors is scheduled to meet 9 a.m. today in Carson City to discuss the maximum price for rebuilding Kingsbury.

Last month they heard the price of the work had nearly doubled from an estimated $8 million to $14-15 million, thanks in part to the discovery of a natural spring that’s flowing under the pavement.

Rodriquez told commissioners drain rock will have to be placed below the pavement along with perforated pipes to carry the water out from under the roadway.

Making sidewalks compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act will also contribute to the increased cost.

One of the key concerns for Carson Valley residents who work at Stateline is how the work will affect their commute.

Last month, Commission Chairman Doug Johnson, who once worked at Stateline, said commuters use the highway 24 hours a day.

Rodriquez told him that the commute was the biggest concern expressed by those who’ve contacted the state about the work.

Bus transportation will be allowed over the summit and through construction areas.

“I think anytime you have construction it impacts and inconveniences people…” Chamber President Betty “B” Gorman told the Tahoe Daily Tribune. “But I think our goal is not to focus on how much damage, but how to help people and focus on how to get people through it as seamlessly as possible.”

Additional meetings to describe the work on Kingsbury are scheduled for 4-7 p.m. March 19 at The Ridge Tahoe and 4-7 p.m. March 20 at Douglas High School in Minden, depending on what happens at Monday’s meeting.

The survey is available on the TahoeChamber website at www.tahoechamber.org.

A website describing the work is available at http://kingsburyproject.com.

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The Record Courier Updated Mar 10, 2014 09:17AM Published Mar 10, 2014 01:38PM Copyright 2014 The Record Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.