570 Acre Bi-State Park
Jack Van Sickle donated 542 acres of property to the Nevada Division of State Parks (NSP) to form the “Henry Van Sickle Unit of Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park” in honor of Jack’s grandfather. Later, NSP secured an additional 28 acres of adjacent property, for a total of 570 acres. The further purchase of additional land by the California Tahoe Conservancy (CTC) created an opportunity for the development of a bi-state park in South Lake Tahoe. RCI partnered with Design Workshop to provide site civil engineering for Phase I of the project. NSP was the lead project proponent with the CTC assisting with project oversight and review.
Due to the project being located in two states in the Lake Tahoe Basin, significant coordination with the numerous regulatory agencies was required. Permitting of the project required consultation with the TRPA, the California Regional Water Quality Control Board Lahontan Region, the City of South Lake Tahoe, the South Tahoe Public Utility District, the State of Nevada, the State of California, as well as the fire districts in California and Nevada. During the environmental review process public input was gathered due to the extensive nature of the project.
Design of the Phase I improvements consisted of SEZ restoration, storm water conveyance channels and basins, all utilities for the Phase I improvements with capacity for future phases, and Park access road, parking lots and day use facilities. The existing SEZ near the entrance was highly disturbed with a dirt road running along the southern edge of the SEZ. Runoff during storm events flowed down the existing dirt road, causing erosion and transporting the existing soil to the downstream storm drain system.
Restoration & Preservation
Restoration efforts included in the Phase I project centered on removal of the existing dirt road and restoration of the existing SEZ adjacent to the new access road to the park. Care was taken to preserve existing riparian vegetation to the greatest extent and existing boulder outcroppings were incorporated into the design. Native plants and seedmix were used to revegetate the SEZ restoration area.
Storm Drain Design
The Phase I utilities design included new water service lines, fire service lines, sanitary sewer, and storm drain. RCI completed all hydrologic and hydraulic analyses to support the design of all of the storm drain conveyance systems and basin sizing. The design of these utilities had to take into account location and capacity needs for future phases of park improvements, including additional day use areas, tent camping, RV spaces, and trailhead access. Design of these improvements had to meet regulatory requirements for both Nevada and California, El Dorado and Douglas counties, as well as the TRPA and other regulatory agencies.
The park access road, parking lots, and day use facilities were challenging to design. The site slopes were steep and there were numerous large boulder outcroppings and large diameter trees in the proposed improvements corridor. Design of these and other site improvements had to minimize the impact to the existing natural features, while still meeting all regulatory design requirements. Several alternative alignments were designed and the impacts of each quantified, which allowed the design team and project proponents to choose the alignment that preserved the natural features of the site to the greatest extent.