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Dollar Creek Trail a key link in vision for North Tahoe regional trail system

November 02, 2016

When it’s built, the Dollar Creek Trail will make a big step toward connecting Kings Beach and Tahoe City with a continuous shared-use path. It’s a key reach in an emerging regional trail system for North Lake Tahoe that will connect all the lakeshore communities with the Martis Valley and Truckee, including plenty of scenic detours in between.

Additional funding for the next 2.2 mile-phase of the project was approved Oct. 25 by the Placer County Board of Supervisors; increasing county matching funds to nearly $297,000 of a total project cost of  $3 million, with the remaining funding coming from the federal and state governments. The project’s lowest bid came in higher than the project estimate, requiring all project partners to contribute more than their original commitment.

“We have made significant progress toward developing a trail network that links all communities in North Lake Tahoe and connecting this system would be a big step toward that goal,” said Erin Casey, Placer County’s senior analyst for recreation and trails in the Tahoe area. “Imagine being able to travel anywhere in the region by bike or on foot; it would be a tremendous transportation asset for our residents - and a next-level attraction for Tahoe’s growing human-powered sport community.”

Today, more than 28 of the planned 63 miles of North Lake Tahoe’s regional trail network already exists, spread across nine discrete trail segments, including 19 miles of lakeside trial.

Several reaches, like the pending phase of the Dollar Creek Trail, are designed, permitted and ready for construction. Others are still in the proposal phase, with rough alignments penciled out but awaiting full design and environmental review. Finalizing plans for these will be aided by a new county park and trail master plan, also approved by the board at the Oct. 25 meeting.

“We’ve been very creative in finding funding, pursuing every grant we could, and leveraging county dollars to get a lot of state and federal money for this,” said Peter Kraatz, assistant director of public works and facilities. “We’ll continue to pursue every avenue of funding we can find as we try to transition from a series of disjointed segments to a continuous network of trails.”

The Placer County Transportation Planning Agency’s Measure M proposes an estimated $1.6 million annually, in part to complete the planned 28 miles of new North Tahoe trails. If approved Nov. 8, Measure M would fund transportation improvements throughout the county with a half-percent sales tax increase. How and when that funding would be spent on Tahoe trails, transit and road maintenance would be determined by the Placer County Board of Supervisors following community and partner-agency collaboration, and it would be consistent with the tourism master plan and the park and trails master plan.

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