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Public Works Department Wins Two Awards

February 26, 2010

Placer County Department of Public Works was honored for having the Best Overall Project during the annual Best in the Basin Awards program sponsored by the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.

Award winners were recognized at the TRPA’S Governing Board meeting on Feb. 24.

Placer County’s Tahoe Estates Water Quality Improvement Project received two honors: Best Overall Project and Best Erosion Control Project.

“I believe the project is a great example of promoting and implementing the latest and best technologies, including pervious pavement, for improving the quality of stormwater flowing into Lake Tahoe,” county Public Works Director Ken Grehm said.

“Kansas McGahan and the Public Works Tahoe Engineering Division did an outstanding job collaborating with the community to implement this important innovative project.”

McGahan, a senior engineer in Public Works, is project engineer for the Tahoe Estates Project.

For the project, Public Works integrated low-impact green-building concepts such as pervious concrete on Laurel Avenue, a residential street maintained by the county. That eliminated the need for traditional storm drain pipes, curbs and gutters. In addition, the county did not need to construct a costly crossing of Highway 28 and a new stormwater outfall into Lake Tahoe.

McGahan noted that Public Works made a concerted effort to design non-intrusive water quality improvements.

“I wanted the project to sit quietly in the rustic, rural neighborhood,” she explained.

Now 20 years old, the TRPA awards program recognizes projects that demonstrate exceptional planning, design and compatibility with the Lake Tahoe environment. Local professionals in the fields of architecture, landscaping, planning, engineering and resource management serve as independent judges.

“The most significant opportunity we have for environmental gain at Lake Tahoe is through the efforts of property owners and public agencies charged with making improvements such as these,” Best in the Basin Program Coordinator Dennis Oliver said.

“With these awards, we recognize those folks who are on the front lines of the broad effort to preserve and restore the Tahoe Basin.”

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