Kings Beach improvements get underway
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A one-mile stretch of California Highway 28 along Kings Beach in Placer County is getting a major facelift.
A $21 million construction contract, approved by the county's board of supervisors last week, will fund improvements for both storm water management and streetscape aesthetics.
Under the contract, Q & D Construction, a Sparks-based company, will be making many changes to the roadway, including adding amenities like sidewalks, curbs, street lighting, bike lanes, and a new drainage system.
Peter Kraatz is assistant director for the county's department of public works. He says that along with making the roadway safer for pedestrians and bicyclists, the Kings Beach Commercial Core Improvement Project will maintain lake clarity:
"Right now, if you go through Kings Beach, you see the highway without a lot of drainage infrastructure, so the water goes unabated into the lake. We will be putting in a series of underground treatment vaults to catch that storm water and collect that sediment to make the storm water cleaner before it makes its way to the lake."
Kraatz says that 90,000 pounds of sediment from the Kings Beach area end up in the lake each year. The new system will cut that amount in half.
County officials have been discussing this project for a decade, and Kraatz says the improvements are overdue.
"Lake Tahoe was built up way back in the '50s in a quick way to get ready for the Squaw Valley Olympics and ever since then, a lot of the communities along the north shore, including Kings Beach and Tahoe City haven't done a whole lot for the last fifty years in terms of improving their streetscape aesthetics and the shift toward more walkable communities."
This first phase of construction will wrap up in 2016 and a second phase is planned if an additional $10 million can be allocated.
Already, the project is relying on a collaboration of at least ten funding sources at the federal, state, and local levels.