Bridge employee highlight: Graham Riddile
New Castle native Graham Riddile grew up driving over the Grand Avenue bridge. After years of hearing the bridge needed major improvements, it is somewhat serendipitous that he is now a project engineer in replacing it. Earning a civil engineering degree from Colorado School of Mines, Riddile has five years with the Colorado Department of Transportation under his belt.
“Helping people get where they need to go” is a simplified way of explaining what draws him to this job, he said. “I enjoy improving infrastructure and communities — building new and more efficient ways for commuters to navigate from home, work and play.”
Riddile’s tasks and responsibilities on the bridge project are to sync state, federal and environmental requirements with the local commuter’s needs. He oversees many project activities from traffic control to assessing storm water management, while supporting the rest of the team to achieve the best possible outcomes. Riddile is the first to admit the project can be challenging, and he knows it can take a toll on the community.
“At times our project is understandably frustrating for the public. Part of my job is making sure our team is constantly thinking of ways to alleviate that frustration as much as our constructions requirements allow,” he said.
Riddile draws upon the wing street utility project as an example of a complex project that pushed the team to reduce as much public impact as possible while moving as quickly as possible. The project site is along the storefront strips on the west and east side of Grand Avenue, known as the wing streets.
“It was a hard environment, but we got in and out, and generally the public was supportive,” he said. Though it deemed a tough job with lots of requirements, the crews worked as quickly as possible to install the new water pipe and lay temporary asphalt in time for the Fourth of July weekend. Additionally, public outreach is a strong point on the project, he said. The degree of community engagement and involvement on a construction project has been a rare occurrence in Riddile’s engineering experience.
“At the end of the day, this project is always changing and very complex, but it is exciting to watch this great community amenity get built,” he said.
When Riddile is not on the clock he serves as a New Castle Town Council member and spends the rest of the time outside taking advantage of the local landscapes with his wife of three years, Alisha Riddile.
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