Progress on a continuous 4-mile pathway between Tahoe Sierra and Stateline plowed ahead earlier this month when the California Tahoe Conservancy Board approved a $3.182-million grant.
The grant to El Dorado County will help fund the next phase of the South Tahoe Greenway Shared Use Trail, which fist kicked off in 2015 with the construction of a 0.42-mile section linking Herbert Avenue and Glenwood Way in the Bijou neighborhood.
Together with the first phase, this phase will provide almost 2 miles of continuous shared use trail in South Lake Tahoe, according to CTC.
"This portion of the trail is an important link between the Tahoe Sierra [formerly known as Sierra Tract] and Bijou neighborhoods, Lake Tahoe Community College, and the community playfields," El Dorado County Supervisor and Conservancy Board Member Sue Novasel said in a press release. "The county is well positioned to construct the trail, given its extensive experience building trails in sensitive environments at Lake Tahoe."
As the Tribune reported in December, the project appeared to hit a snag when LTCC voiced concerns over the details of a land swap in exchange for $700,000. The exchange was a four-way trade of parcels between CTC, the city of South Lake Tahoe and LTCC — a move that allowed the college to contribute funds for the Greenway project.
"What we've encountered over the last year or so is that the college has some concerns with a couple of easements that are on the parcels that would be exchanged to the college," Chris Mertens, associate environmental planner at the Conservancy, told his board on Dec. 7.
Despite concerns, the LTCC Board of Trustees unanimously signed off on the easements later that month, according to meeting minutes.
In approving the grant funding earlier this month, CTC board members noted the collaborative nature of the project.
"The Greenway Trail is the result of a strong partnership between the conservancy, the college, the city of South Lake Tahoe, and the Lake Tahoe Bicycle Coalition and we are pleased to now include El Dorado County in this partnership," Brooke Laine, CTC's newly established board chair, said in a press release. Laine replaced longtime chair Larry Sevison.
According to the press release from CTC, the board also approved $335,360 in three grants for aquatic invasive species plant removal at Meeks Bay Marina, public outreach and education for the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency's Lake Tahoe Shoreline Plan, and Lake Tahoe Water Trail signs and mobile mapping software development.
The board also approved a forest health project in the Cold Creek neighborhood in South Lake Tahoe, grant funding from Caltrans for a Lake Tahoe climate adaption strategy, and modifications to the executive director's compensation.