SR-28 Lake Tahoe East Shore Trail

Building the Iconic Lake Tahoe Trail

The SR-28 Trail involved constructing a 3-mile, shared-use path enhancing safety and mobility along Lake Tahoe's pristine east shore. It included six bridges spanning 1,500 feet above tributary creeks, coves, and the shoreline.

Deemed “The Impossible Trail” by stakeholders due to its extensive stakeholder involvement, multijurisdictional regulators, rugged mountain terrain, limited access, and location along Lake Tahoe’s protected environment, the SR-28 Lake Tahoe East Shore Trail in Incline Village, Nevada would undoubtedly be a huge undertaking. Though Granite’s Nevada Region team loves a challenge. Granite was awarded the project in the first quarter of 2017 and completed the project in June 2019. By integrating values of social responsibility, environmental stewardship, and economic prosperity, Granite has built infrastructure that improves the quality of life at Lake Tahoe.

The SR-28 Trail involved constructing a three-mile, shared use path enhancing safety and mobility along Lake Tahoe's pristine east shore. It included six bridges spanning 1,500 feet above tributary creeks, coves, and the lake shoreline. It also included 12 retaining walls, 10 of which are sculpted shotcrete soil nail walls, 6 miles of water quality improvements to reduce erosion and fine sediment run-off, 11 miles of safety improvements for improved circulation, and 17 scenic vista points.

The SR-28 Trail was delivered using the Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR) procurement method. The CMAR team included the project's owner, Nevada Department of Transportation; designer, CH2M (Jacobs); and contractor, Granite. During preconstruction, the CMAR team worked collaboratively to review plans and specifications, perform constructability reviews and value engineering analyses, and schedule and develop cost estimates. The CMAR team considered innovations in methods, materials, and equipment to maintain the budget and construct the project in a limited construction season to mitigate impacts on the traveling public and seasonal tourism.

In addition to the preconstruction collaboration, informal partnering was accomplished through engaging the team in weekly meetings and job walks that included NDOT, CH2M, and key project partners including the Tahoe Transportation District, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA), Nevada Department of Environmental Protection, and the Tahoe Fund.

The CMAR team earned recognition for their ingenuity and constructability methods receiving the Associated General Contractors of America 2020 Construction Risk Partners Build America Award in Construction Management , American Institute of Steel Construction Special Purpose Merit Award, the American Public Works Association Public Works Project of the Year Award, and the American Society of Civil Engineers Project of the Year Award. 

Throughout the project, the CMAR team exceeded the stringent environmental regulations working alongside Lake Tahoe's pristine shoreline. With strict environmental safeguards in place, the project was completed in 17 months over four seasons, with zero environmental citations earning the AGC PINNACLE Award for Sensitivity to the Environment. Achieving this outstanding recognition, while working within one of the most highly environmentally regulated areas in the country, required the CMAR team to closely partner and collaborate with environmental partners, including the Nevada Department of Environmental Inspection, U.S. Forest Service, Nevada State Parks, and TRPA. This extended CMAR team met in the early planning phases and performed frequent onsite visits to ensure the work was delivered successfully without environmental incident.

In addition to close collaboration and adherence to environmental guidelines, the CMAR team performed extensive public outreach with stakeholders and the Lake Tahoe community which earned the team the American Trails Advancing Trails Partnership AwardInternational Partnering Institute Partnership Award Honorable Mention, and the Silver Spike Award from the Public Relations Society of America for the CMAR team’s extensive public information program.

For more information on the SR-28 Lake Tahoe East Shore Trail, visit the Nevada Department of Transportation website.