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Trout Creek's Restoration Begins

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Truckee Town Council:

Mayor Beth Ingalls absent
Vice Mayor Richard Anderson
Barbara Green
Craig Threshie
Josh Susman

Meeting August 17, 2006
For the last seven years, the Town of Truckee has been working to restore a 6,600-foot long section of Trout Creek from Bridge Street, through the concrete flume alongside Jibboom Street, under Donner Pass road, around the balloon tract, and finally to the Truckee River. The project is entering the first of three phases, which will focus on the smaller section of the proposed restoration area but also the most expensive on linear foot basis, due to the stream undercrossing at Donner Pass Road, Town Engineer Dan Wilkins said. This project replaces the box culvert that the creek now runs through. The current culvert is rated at 250 cubic feet per second, yet some 870 cubic feet per second is the rating needed to accommodate 100-year flood requirements. Phase 1 will see a bridge built over the section of Jibboom Street that the Creek flows under and restoration of the stream channel to a natural bottom with boulders and vegetation. Sizable amounts of water will be able to pass below Donner Pass Road without flooding during storm events. The projects will also fund refortification of existing weak levees near the railyard balloon tract.

Trout Creek Road residences should 'probably never should have been developed,' said Wilkins, since the properties flood during storms. Trout Creek Road and the Catholic Church Parking Lot flooded twice last winter. The new drainage system at the intersection of that road and Donner Pass Road will be a culvert with a storm water treatment vault in front and flap gate and culverts at the other end so that during floods, water cannot backflow into affected properties. 'This is not the project that will get rid of all flooding problems in the railyard or on Trout Creek Road,' Wilkins emphasized. Though it will eliminate flooding problems in the Catholic Church parking lot, he said.

Fiscal impacts of Phase 1
The Town original budget for the first phase was $1,197,546 but the lowest bid requires $519,600 more. The General Fund will provide $319,629 more, and the Redevelopment Agency and Facilities Impact Fee Program will each kick in $100,000 for the final amount as bid by Yubacon Inc.

During questions from Council, Town Manager Tony Lashbrook said that 'even though our ability to fund redevelopment projects continues to grow, this would be a big hit on our current funding capability.' Town Engineer Dan Wilkins said that other Capital Improvement Projects won't be delayed, 'but this is $319,000 less that can go into the [new] Town corporation yard, for example.' Wilkins added that there is the likelihood that some $50,000 can be saved by using more concrete than steel, as concrete outlasts steel in Truckee's climate.

Work costs on other Trout Creek sections will be known 'when they're finished' Wilkins quipped, in response to a question from Vice Mayor Richard Anderson. $3.2 million is the expected cost, but Creek restoration could certainly exceed this amount, he said. The Town's intent is to have Phase 1 done by end of this construction season.

Lisa Wallace, Truckee River Watershed Council, noted that Trout Creek's restoration has been a priority for years. The Watershed Council sees the cost of poor planning years ago and thanked the Town for its planning this time around. Truckee resident Denny Dickinson said that this stands to be the fastest bridge ever built. He wondered what happens if it's not finished by winter. Wilkins said there are contingency plans: if the October 15 grading deadline is not met, then the project gets 'properly winterized and will be left in a state that would allow the creek to function in its current location for the winter.' The Town would then wait until next fall, when water level has again subsided to one-tenth spring run-off.

Councilmember Threshie asked if the new bridge is wide enough for bike lanes, and Wilkins said it would be. With that, the contract was approved by Council.

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March 14, 2019