Rifle roundabout project tops list of Garfield FMLD fall grants; $1.44M awarded in total

A $600,000 grant for Rifle’s Gateway Roundabout project is the top awardee in the Garfield County Federal Mineral Lease District fall grant cycle.

The envisioned roundabout where Colorado Highway 13, U.S. Highway 6 and Whiteriver Avenue meet at an awkward and often dangerous intersection, however, remains a concept design, City Manager Tommy Klein said.

The new roundabout would be part of the larger I-70 Gateway Beautification Project, which aims to create a cleaner look for the existing roundabouts south of the Interstate 70 interchange and a more welcoming entrance into downtown Rifle.

The broader effort has been in discussion for more than a decade.

With an estimated cost of $6 million for the new roundabout alone, the final design and funding are the subject of further planning and discussions with City Council, Klein said. 

“We are looking at some different options to find the one that would work best,” he said.

Computer models generated for the project show how a roundabout would function as compared to a signalized intersection. There are also some significant cost differences to consider, Klein said of the work-in-progress.

FMLD fall grants this year totaled roughly $1.44 million, with $1.3 million awarded through six grants in the Traditional Grant Program, and $142,878 awarded through six grants in the Mini Grant Program, a Garfield FMLD news release states.                                                                                        

In addition to the Rifle project grant, other Traditional Grant awards included:

  • Colorado River Board of Cooperative Education Services, EPIC (trades education) Program truck and trailer — $70,000
  • Glenwood Springs, Sayre Park improvements, Phase 2  — $100,000
  • New Castle, wastewater digester blower facility — $200,000
  • Parachute Battlement Parks and Recreation District, Rec Center roof repair/replacement — $200,000
  • Parachute, regional fleet fueling station — $130,000

Mini Grant awards this fall included:

  • Battlement Mesa Metropolitan District, asphalt roller — $25,000
  • Colorado River BOCES, EPIC construction simulator — $25,000
  • Glenwood Springs, police drone — $17,878
  • New Castle, facility security upgrades — $25,000
  • Parachute Battlement Parks and Recreation District, Rec Center LED, Phase 2 — $ 25,000
  • Parachute, police vehicle — $25,000

Since its inception in 2011, the Garfield County FMLD Board of Directors has awarded 299 grants totaling more than $30.6 million, including $90,000 in Grantee of the Year Awards.

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