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Truckee To Build Pedestrian-Only Tunnel On Highway 89

Ky Plaskon / Capital Public Radio

Ky Plaskon / Capital Public Radio

UPDATE: 4:45 p.m. Aug. 6, 2015 - Link to webcam added.
The town of Truckee installed a webcam to the tunnel, giving people a view of the Highway 89 "mouse hole."

The webcam can be viewed here http://bit.ly/1Url2CR

-From a release by the Town of Truckee

Original story -

A major highway between Truckee and Tahoe City is about to get a lot safer.

An estimated 20,000 vehicles use Highway 89 every day. When they get to a vintage 1928 train tunnel, four lanes become two and the shoulder disappears. 

Approaching pedestrians activate a flashing light. They wait for a break in traffic and they run.

Locals call it the “mouse hole” and it’s the only access to stores and workplaces on the Truckee side.

Lilly Macias runs the mouse hole every day.

"Pretty dangerous, and I either have to hold my 5 year old or my 2 year old or my 9 year old and one of them has to go  in front of me or behind me, because we all don’t fit in there," she says.

Truckee has recognized the danger of the mouse hole for 20 years. But money and the logistics of keeping traffic, trains and people moving complicated the search for solutions. Now, the town has $14 million to build a pedestrian-only tunnel parallel to the mouse hole.

"It’s great actually, now we can go on a normal walk instead of running to the store literally," Macias says.

The project is expected to be done in October.