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State tries to keep Tahoe drivers and residents happy through construction

State tries to keep Tahoe drivers and residents happy through construction (SBG)

The peaceful sounds of summer have been broken up by the rumbles of progress at Lake Tahoe this summer.

The Nevada Department of Transportation is working on two construction projects: the shared use path between Incline Village and Sand Harbor on State Route 28 and shoring up the hillside along U.S. 50 north of Cave Rock. Backups can be lengthy as traffic lanes pinch down to one lane.

Not everyone is happy about the construction noise and delays.

“It's the beep-beep-beep and the backup and the rocks crushing and that kind of stuff,” said Tim Callicrate who has lived in Incline Village for four decades. “After the winter that we had last year, everyone's saying 'Oh great, let's enjoy the summer.' Record heat bringing record tourists. So it's like the perfect storm. Everybody and their brother wants to come to Tahoe, which they do in a regular year and this year it's been problematic with all the construction.”

People playing in the sun at Sand Harbor said they plan on construction delays when they come up to the lake.

“This right here has probably been a nuisance to a lot of people because it's here, near everything that's going on that they want to get to,” Annisa Rose from Minden said.

Orange cones and big construction equipment is within eye-shot of the beaches.

“That's kind of upsetting… the way they've torn it up that close to the lake,” said Jay Pearson, an Incline resident.

But Thor Dyson, District Engineer for NDOT, said it’s not always possible to do the construction work at night when there are fewer vehicles on the road.

“Some things you have to do during the day. You can see a lot better in the day from a safety standpoint," he said.

Dyson said on holidays, days where there are big events at the lake and when work has to be done on the road for longer periods of time, the state tries to work at night.

“It's really critical to us to minimize peoples' delay as much as possible And at night traffic volumes drop drastically,” Dyson said.

But working at night upsets residents who live nearby and have to listen to the noise.

“What they should have done is said, 'Folks this is going to be a nightmare summer, we're all going to hate ourselves by the end but it's going to be done,'” said Callicrate.

To quiet the Lake Tahoe construction, NDOT uses noise shields and sound blankets. Some vehicles are equipped with special back-up alarms.

“Some of them are like a white noise alarm instead of the obnoxious beeping alarm," Dyson said.

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