Motorists traveling in the North Tahoe/Truckee region will need to exercise patience and plan ahead when Ironman takes to the streets this weekend.
On Sunday, Sept. 20, drivers will share the road with roughly 2,500 athletes as they simultaneously compete in either the half or full Ironman Lake Tahoe triathlon throughout the region — all while thousands supporters and spectators watch on from roadsides.
On race day, after a 2.4-mile swim in Lake Tahoe from Kings Beach, athletes will embark on a 112-mile bike trip with a two-loop circuit traveling from Kings Beach, Truckee and over Brockway Summit, before finishing at Squaw Valley. They then will run a 26.2-mile marathon run through Squaw to Tahoe, before eventually looping back to Squaw for the finish.
The 2014 Ironman Lake Tahoe and Ironman 70.3 Lake Tahoe were canceled because of unsafe air quality in the Lake Tahoe Basin from nearby wildfires. Below is a list of main closures that will be in effect along state highways on race day:
From 5 to 10 a.m., Highway 28 eastbound and westbound from Fox Street to Highway 267 in Kings Beach will be closed. There will be a detour up Fox Street and across Speckled Avenue to reach 267. From there, motorists can either go northbound toward Truckee or southbound to merge onto Highway 28 toward Tahoe City.
From 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Highway 89 northbound from Fairway Drive in Tahoe City to the intersection of Squaw Valley Road and Highway 89 will be closed. To get to either Squaw or Truckee from the North Shore, drivers are advised to take Highway 267 north.
From 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Highway 267 southbound from Highlands View Road near Northstar to Commonwealth Drive in Kings Beach will be closed. Drivers are advised to take Highway 89 south to access Lake Tahoe basin communities such as Kings Beach.
Within the town of Truckee, several closures are also planned for Sept. 20, including:
From 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., West River Street eastbound from Highway 89 to McIver Crossing will be closed.
Continuing down West River, eastbound travel from McIver Crossing to Bridge Street will be closed between 9 and 11:30 a.m.
From 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., vehicle traffic will not be allowed to cross the railroad tracks at Bridge Street.
From 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Donner Pass Road eastbound from McIver Crossing to Glenshire Drive will be closed. Donner Pass Road westbound will remain open, allowing vehicle access to downtown Truckee.
From 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Glenshire Drive eastbound from Donner Pass Road to the Truckee Legacy Trail will be closed. To enter Glenshire, drivers are advised to take Hirschdale Road.
From 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Old Brockway Road eastbound from Palisades Drive to Highway 267 will be closed. Further, the southern side of the Martis Valley Road roundabout will be closed for the same timeframe; residential traffic is advised to use Palisades Drive to enter and exit that neighborhood.
“The general public can always flow in the opposite direction of the athletes without obstruction,” said Dave Reid, race director of Ironman Lake Tahoe.
It will be important for motorists to remember, Reid said, that athletes will be traveling clockwise within the resort triangle.
“Patience is the most important thing when encountering athlete related impacts,” Reid said. “Our California Highway Patrol, town of Truckee Police and staff are doing their best to keep traffic moving and keep athletes safe.”
Lake Tahoe Action editor Adam Jensen contributed to this story.