Expect delays: Downtown Rifle construction closes down section of Railroad Avenue | PostIndependent.com

Expect delays: Downtown Rifle construction closes down section of Railroad Avenue

A road closed sign at Railroad Avenue near downtown Rifle
Ray K. Erku / Post Independent

With downtown construction this week closing down a section of Railroad Avenue between Second and Third streets, motorists are being asked to anticipate stop-and-go conditions at alternative routes.

The stretch of Railroad Avenue is undergoing a major $3.8-million revitalization project aimed at improving several infrastructural needs. So far, construction has consisted of road demolition, among other activities.

“It’s causing what you would expect — side streets are being taxed,” Rifle Police Chief Tommy Klein said. “As far as accidents, I don’t think we’re seeing an increase. It’s just inconvenient for businesses downtown and motorists.”

Klein said, however, they have been receiving calls regarding speeding concerns.

“Even with the (U.S.) Highway 6 bridge, especially West Second Street,” he said. “We try to be down there but citizens have called with concerns along that street.”

With a section of Railroad Avenue closed, Klein acknowledged alternative routes dealing with more congested traffic.

“It’s designed for local, light traffic,” Klein said of the side streets. “So, when you have a larger amount of traffic from what is essentially a thoroughfare, and you’re being diverted onto side streets, there’s going to be back up.”

Construction workers dig into Railroad Avenue.
Ray K. Erku / Post Independent

Contracted public information officer Tracy Trulove said KSK Construction is expecting to test a waterline on West Third Street this week. Meanwhile, construction is also anticipating potentially moving forward toward East Third Avenue for demolition activities starting next week.

West Third Street, however, will be restored prior to construction moving on toward East Third Street, Trulove said.

Alternative workarounds include Whiteriver and West avenues.

“If you’re going to go west, I would use the bypass,” Klein said. “It’s a good alternate route. You can always use 16th (Street) to go east, to work your way back to Highway 6. You can always use (Seventh Street) to do the same thing and move away from the Railroad (Avenue) area as much as you can.”

“You can take a few moments and go out of your way and save some time,” Klein added. “Or, be patient with us and plan for extra time in your commute.”

Reporter Ray K. Erku can be reached at 612-423-5273 or rerku@postindependent.com

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