Wednesday, 29 May 2024

Pier and plaza project under way in Lucerne

Equipment placed on a barge on the lake in Lucerne, Calif., is being used to construct a new 180-foot-long pier as part of the Third Avenue Plaza project. Photo by Elizabeth Larson.


LUCERNE – Work on a new pier for the town of Lucerne is under way, with park expansion to follow.

The Third Avenue Plaza project, the planning and grant work which has been under way since early 2005, will include a new pier and land improvements at Third Avenue and Highway 20, according to county Deputy Redevelopment Director Eric Seely.

Seely said the project's first phase is the 180-foot-long pier and a seawall, scheduled to be completed by May 1.

The pier will have a 40 foot by 60 foot deck at the end, with a 15 foot by 30 foot shade structure, Seely said. A pump for the irrigation system on land also will be installed on the pier to upgrade the system at Alpine Park and the area next to the pier.

Seely said the pier project has several funding streams, including the Wildlife Conservation Board, a state funding source, and the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund, for a total of $472,000.

Because of the competitiveness of the bidding market right now, the money is also being used to cover a portion of the seawall, which Seely said the county didn't initially anticipate.

Once the pier project is done, work on the landward improvements will start around June 1, with completion slated for around September, he said. The land improvements will include new landscaping, picnic tables, new sidewalks and other amenities.

Several sources also are funding the improvements on land, he said, including the state's Roberti-Z'Berg-Harris grant fund, which is supplying $500,000 toward the park improvements, plus $300,000 from the redevelopment agency and a match of between $100,000 and $150,000 from the county general fund for the state grant.

A feasibility study on the project was done in June of 2005 and the permitting process started in 2007. Seely said county funds were used to buy the land on both sides of a home on the lakeshore known locally as “the blue monster.” That house later was purchased by the county and torn down, and will be part of the park area.

The overall project has had delays as the county has worked with a number of state and federal agencies, which Seely said included the Army Corps of Engineers, the state Department of Fish and Game and Caltrans.

Seely said the project has had to undergo revisions, mostly to do with requirements from Caltrans. That's because the project includes new sidewalks in the Highway 20 right-of-way.

“It's been a long process working with Caltrans,” he said, with some fine tuning still under way.

Seely said the project was broken into two parks for reasons including the hope that a local marine contractor would bid on the pier. However, the lowest responsible bid came from a Redding firm, Stewart Engineering.

They also had time limits to the grant funding, which he said necessitated moving forward with the project's most critical parts – the pier and seawall – first, in order to avoid losing the money.

He added that the state also was having problems issuing bonds to cover its grant obligations. “We weren't sure that was going to happen.”

In recent years the county's redevelopment agency has made significant investments in Lucerne.

Those include park and restroom improvements, purchases of land as part of the promenade, bank stabilization and tree planting along Lucerne Creek, sidewalk projects, the Harbor Village Artists colony, and new playground equipment at Lucerne Harbor Park, to name a few.

Seely didn't have a figure readily available for the overall investment in the community, but noted, “It's a substantial amount.”

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Follow Lake County News on Twitter at and on Facebook at .

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