Whiteriver construction put on fast track
Traffic is now closed in both directions on Whiteriver Avenue between 10th and 16th streets in order to complete construction before the start of school in August.
The project, which includes installing sidewalks, improving drainage and creating crosswalks on Whiteriver, was originally expected to last into September. However, after contractor Johnson Construction, Inc., alerted the city that additional manpower was available, the city decided to close traffic in both directions to accelerate the completion date, said Rick Barth, city engineer.
Residents will still be able to access their homes off of that stretch of Whiteriver Avenue.
The road is heavily traveled during the school year, so the city jumped at the opportunity to complete the project before then, Barth said. While no drivers have been ticketed since construction started, during several site visits, Barth said some drivers were traveling at fast speeds on the road. Closing traffic will make it safer for workers.
“It helps speed up the project and helps keep the workers safe,” he said.
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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 $600,000 Whiteriver improvements, which remain within budget.
If construction continues on track, Barth said he expects the road to reopen no later than Aug. 14.
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