Placer County’s Kings Beach Commercial Core Project was recently named a 2016 Public Works Project of the Year by the American Public Works Association (APWA). The project is being honored with APWA’s Project of the Year award in the Transportation category at a cost between $5 - $25 million. This award honors agencies that include roads, bridges, and mass transit.

For 2016, the team of winners includes Placer County’s Department of Public Works in CA. as the managing agency; Q&D Construction, as the primary contractor; and Dokken Engineering, as the primary consultant, who will be presented with the award during APWA’s 2016 PWX Conference Awards Ceremony in Minneapolis, MN during August 28-31, 2016.

The APWA Public Works Projects of the Year awards are presented annually to promote excellence in the management and administration of public works projects, recognizing the alliance between the managing agency, contractor, consultant and their cooperative achievements. This year, APWA selected projects in five categories in the Small Cities/Rural Communities area: Disaster/Emergency, Environment, Historical Restoration, Structures, and Transportation.

The SR-28/Kings Beach Commercial Core Improvement Project is located in Placer County’s unincorporated area of Kings Beach, on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe near the California/Nevada State Line. The project represents a public investment of over $24 million to revitalize Kings Beach through construction of the stormwater conveyance and treatment infrastructure, reconfiguring and rebuilding State Route 28 (SR-28), and adding 10-foot-wide sidewalks, Class 2 bike lanes, and public bus pull-outs. The project transforms a one-mile segment of the highway from four lanes to three lanes with two roundabouts and limited on-highway seasonal parking. There is now an ADA accessible path of travel along both sides of the highway, where previously there had been none. In addition, portions of the “grid” county roads that intersect the highway were also improved with stormwater infrastructure, curb, gutter and sidewalks, formalized parking areas, and traffic calming measures.

Since 2002, Placer County Public Works has embraced this project as the highest priority effort in North Lake Tahoe. The project was designed to improve stormwater runoff conditions in a densely built area, address safety and the need for enhanced multimodal mobility, and help rejuvenate the Kings Beach community. After the project, SR-28 will function more as the main street of town.

Project delivery near Lake Tahoe is always challenging, especially with improvements being constructed in the Sierra Nevada Mountains at over 6,200 feet in elevation. There are many reasons, including permit requirements, short construction seasons, area visitors, and unique project sites, that made this project a challenge. Excavations in the Tahoe Basin are limited to between May through October, but seasonal conditions still control whether excavations can proceed or not. If it rains or snows, no excavation is allowed until the site has dried out, even if it is in the middle of June. Another restriction was that no highway work was allowed between Independence Day and Labor Day, the height of the area’s tourism season.

American Public Works Association (APWA)

For construction seasons in both 2014 and 2015, the project started in April, a month earlier than planned, due to favorable weather patterns. Working through the random late spring snow storms and high groundwater, the project was able to progress forward and even get ahead of schedule. At times, the contractor had more than 100 workers on the project to ensure the project would be completed on schedule. The first year, starting early allowed enough time to construct one of the roundabouts before the July 4 tourist season. With the first roundabout complete, the second roundabout was able to begin construction in early September and was completed by October 15.

For more information on the APWA 2016 Projects of the Year, please contact APWA Media Relations and Communications Manager, Laura Bynum,, or call 202.218.6736.

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