Forum to discuss Kingsbury Grade construction plans
February 24, 2014
TahoeChamber will hold a forum next week to discuss impacts Kingsbury Grade construction might have on local businesses and residents.
The project, which consists of repaving and upgrading about four miles of the road from Highway 50 to the summit, is expected to start in May and could affect travel over the pass — particularly for motorists coming from Carson Valley.
"I think anytime you have construction it impacts and inconveniences people…" Chamber President Betty "B" Gorman said. "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."
Gorman said the Chamber is holding the forum because it felt stakeholders and small business owners, particularly, should have a venue to gather more information on the long-term construction project.
During construction, transportation would be limited along Kingsbury at different times of the day and season.
Before Memorial Day and after Labor Day, roadwork would be conducted 24 hours per day and six days per week. Westbound traffic coming from Carson Valley — with the exception of buses and emergency vehicles — would face restrictions.
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Construction would continue between Memorial Day and Labor Day, but it would only occur at night. Under this option, only one lane of alternating traffic would be open at that time. One lane in each direction would be open during the day.
On Thursday, project manager Pedro Rodriguez said the Nevada Department of Transportation is pursuing an aggressive 12- to 18-month construction schedule to complete the project as quickly as possible.
Many businesses operate on Kingsbury on the four-mile section of road. The Red Hut Café is one of them, but assistant manager Liza Olivta said she doubts construction will have much of an impact on the restaurant.
Red Hut has had to deal with changes brought on by construction before. However, it usually balances out, she said.
If patrons don't show up because they don't want to deal with traffic, the loss of business is usually counteracted by the increase of construction workers in search of food.
"Sometimes it brings in more business, and sometimes it doesn't …" Olivta said. "It's like give and take."
TahoeChamber's Kingsbury Construction Forum will be 9 -11 a.m. Wednesday at the TahoeChamber Conference Room, or 169 Highway 50, Stateline.
Representatives from the Tahoe Transportation District, NDOT and BlueGo will be in attendance to answer any questions related to construction plans.