Construction of new Rifle bike trail hits slight roadblock |

Construction of new Rifle bike trail hits slight roadblock

A rider enjoys a section of the Grand Hogback Bike Trail earlier this year.
Ray K. Erku / Post Independent

There’s a possibility that construction for the Grand Hogback bike trail system will face a delay, according to a Rifle city official.

City Planning Director Patrick Waller told Rifle City Council on Nov. 3 that the city is waiting for a $25,000 donation from the Catena Foundation, a private foundation in Carbondale.

With a possible construction delay, City Council approved a change order for the project.

City Attorney Jim Neu said Catena is backlogged with requests.

“So the checks are taking a while to arrive,” Neu said. “So that’s what’s happening.”

In September, the city voted to allocate $20,000 out of its conservation trust fund for construction of an additional 1.7 miles of mountain bike trails for the Grand Hogback Trail system located at Rifle Arch. City Council made the vote with the knowledge that Catena would offer an additional $25,000 in funding.

Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association Executive Director Mike Pritchard said on Wednesday that Catena, which has already allocated nearly $40,000 toward the Grand Hogback project, should be giving the additional $25,000 within a week. RFMBA has been facilitating the funds through the foundation.

The only difference the possible delay makes is that construction for the 1.7 miles, which was expected to be completed this fall, will likely now roll over into Spring 2022. Meanwhile, a required wildlife closure implemented in December by the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Department mixed in with the delay in funds may hamper the construction timeline.

“With it being done by winter, we’d get more snow and moisture on it,” Pritchard said of the 1.7 miles. “But it’s not the biggest problem to have it shifted into spring.”

Waller said the potential for construction to roll over into spring has been budgeted.

Neu said if the city does not receive the $25,000 from Catena, the $20,000 footed by the city will go back into the conservation trust fund.

Once the funds are received, the city still has to wait an additional week to approve the allocation, Neu said.

Council member Brian Condie agreed the change order be approved now.

“I think the sooner, the better,” he said.

In addition to September’s allocation, the city originally approved a $24,955 contract with Gumption Trail Works to complete about 4,345 feet of trail by Dec. 1 — phase 2 of the project.

Phase 1, which broke ground in summer 2020, was completed earlier this year and cost just more than $80,000. At least $43,907 came out of the city’s Visitor Improvement fund, while additional allocations were made by the Rifle Area Mountain Bike Organization, the Garfield County Commission, the Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association and the Greater Rifle Improvement Team.

In early summer 2020, the city of Rifle established a memorandum of understanding with the Bureau of Land Management to begin work on the Grand Hogback Trail, which falls on federal land.

The overall cost of the project is expected to be $290,000, but the city is going after an $80,000 grant through the CPW. If the grant is approved — the decision is expected in spring — the city will match funds over a two-year period.

Once the project is fully completed, it will establish more than 18 miles of singletrack bike trails. So far, at least 7.1 miles of track and a newly improved parking area have been constructed.

The Citizen Telegram did reach out to Catena Foundation for this story.

Reporter Ray K. Erku can be reached at 612-423-5273 or

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