Next stop for Tahoe path: Spooner
The next segment of a multi-use bike path along the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe could finally reach Douglas County.
The U.S. Forest Service is conducting an environmental assessment for the path, which would stretch 8 miles from Sand Harbor State Park to Spooner Lake.
Douglas has a shared use bike path from Kahle Drive to Round Hill Pines Beach, which was one of the first demonstration projects.
Forest Service officials used Thursday’s county commission meeting to take public comment on the proposal.
The assessment is expected to be done this fall, with construction starting in 2022, depending on funding.
Construction of the trail would include four parking lots along Highway 28, designed to prevent motorists from lining the highway during busy summer days.
Critical to building the trail will be paying for it.
According to the Nevada Department of Transportation, the Incline to Sand Harbor project’s total cost was $40.5 million.
“Construction of the path itself amounted to roughly $21 million,” Nevada Department of Transportation spokeswoman Meg Ragonese said. “The rest of the costs were for safety and parking improvements, drainage and water quality improvements and ITS conduit for future fiber.”
She said that among those improvements are 10 new highway turnouts and scenic pull-outs, 5,000 feet of storm drains, 4,000 feet of reinforcement walls and six miles of conduit.
“Critical repair and replacement of more than 1,00 feet of 16-inch treated wastewater pipeline was installed in partnership with the Incline Village General Improvement District.
An important source of money for the path was the Tahoe Fund’s $1 million in private donations. That allowed $12.5 million in Federal Lands Access Program grant dollars.
The project added 90 off-highway parking spaces with more on the way during the state’s next resurfacing project.
The contract for the three-mile section of the path was estimated to cost $25 million to $30 million when the contract was issued by the state transportation board in May 2016.
Granite Construction was awarded the construction manager at risk contract, which called for an underpass near Hidden Beach to take the path from the mountain to the Lake side of the highway.
The route sees up to a million visitors every summer with bicycles, pedestrians and motorists all vying for space on the road.