Construction underway on Whiteriver
Motorists and pedestrians are being advised to avoid a northern stretch of Whiteriver Avenue, when possible, for the next three months.
Construction started Monday on Whiteriver between Ninth and 10th streets — closing the northbound lane of the street.
Crews with Johnson Construction, Inc., are installing sidewalks, improving drainage and creating crosswalks on Whiteriver between 10th and 18th streets over the course of the next three months.
While traffic will remain open in at least one direction during most of the construction, motorists are better off trying to avoid Whiteriver until the project is complete, said Rick Barth, city engineer. There will be instances when entire stretches of the street are closed in both directions.
As previously reported in The Telegram, the long-planned project is part of an overall city effort to make Rifle more pedestrian and bike friendly. The city received a $400,000 Garfield County Federal Mineral Lease District grant to fund a large bulk of the Whiteriver improvements.
Speaking before council June 3, Barth noted that there currently are no sidewalks on this stretch of Whiteriver, and that forces cyclists and pedestrians to walk on the street — which can cause safety issues due to the narrow and curvy nature of the street.
At the same meeting council awarded the project to Rifle-based Johnson Construction, Inc., which had the lowest bid at $546,150. Council also approved additional spending for construction management up to the total project budget of $600,000. Construction is expected to take approximately three months.
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Students from Rifle and Coal Ridge high schools were asked Friday to transition to online learning and quarantine for 10 days, Garfield County District Re-2 announced.