Upper Truckee River Reach 5 Restoration Project / South Lake Tahoe, CA


A 1.5 mile reach of the Upper Truckee River, the largest tributary to Lake Tahoe needed restoration in order to raise groundwater tables, reactivate the floodplain, improve water quality, and restore riparian and wetland habitat. The Wildscape Engineering team has managed the field investigations, design, and oversight on this four year, phased project. Engaging in a collaborative design process with the Forest Service and inter-disciplinary consultant team 100% construction documents were completed in 2012 covering new channel construction, utility relocation, LWD and bio-technical bank treatments and boulder grade controls.

Overall Progress

The first two phases of channel construction were completed in 2013 and 2014 resulting in over 7,000 feet of new channel built and two utility lines lowered. In 2015 the new channel will remain offline from the existing river in order to allow the vegetation to mature and the new channel to become more stable. For the final phase, anticipated in 2016, the existing Upper Truckee River will be re-routed into the newly constructed and seasoned channel and the former channel will be backfilled and restored.

Project Design Elements

  • Construction of over 1.5 miles of new channel
  • Stream diversion and dewatering
  • Temporary river crossings
  • Grade control structures
  • Utility relocations
  • Floodplain connectivity
  • Large engineered wood structures
  • Biotechnical bank treatments
  • Erosion control
  • Revegetation
  • Aquatic and wildlife habitat restoration
  • SWPPP development
  • Grade staking and layout

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