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South Lake Tahoe Project Would Realign Highway 50

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SOUTH LAKE TAHOE -- A proposal to bring new life to South Lake Tahoe and fix existing traffic issues is being met with controversy.

"There are other alternatives to solving the traffic problem," said resident Ed Mosur.

Dozens of people packed a community meeting Thursday to voice their concerns about a project that would realign Highway 50 at the state line and then loop behind the Nevada casinos. It would shrink the four-lane highway down to two lanes in order to create a more pedestrian, bike-friendly experience.

Community members agree that the traffic backups in the city need to be addressed but the vast majority of people at the meeting said the proposed plan would only add to the traffic congestion.

"If you start reducing that to one lane you’re going to have really serious problems," Mosur told FOX40. "The traffic is actually going to be backed up even more and it’s going to be worse."

City planners say the project could boost tourism in the area and improve the overall Tahoe experience.

"It’s all about an experience when you come to Tahoe, right? I would say new construction and nice landscaping makes for a better experience."

The project is expected to spike business revenue up to $79 million through increased lodging and rentals.

"The Stateline area is desperate for improvement, in my opinion. There are certain areas that have been improved and have continued to be developed in the last 10, 15 years but there’s so much more that needs to be done. And being a young guy looking into the future, I'm excited by any new project."

But some people at Thursday's meeting argued the proposed plan only benefits big businesses in the area and ignores the needs of the everyday taxpayer in South Lake Tahoe.

"How do we benefit? We’re going to pay for this project. It is just another method to take this community hostage and to route all the traffic directly to the casinos in the casino core."

Right now there isn’t a set timeline for the project. City council said they want to continue hearing from the community and work together toward a solution.

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