Rifle approves approximately $4.71 million in infrastructure projects


Sealing cracks, resurfacing pavement and purchasing a new water tank are all on a small list of infrastructure projects that will take place this summer in Rifle.

Rifle City Council on Wednesday approved about $4.71 million in construction bids for four respective projects. This includes:

•the installation of a water tank at the Rifle County airport Garfield;

• filling cracks in seven streets in North Pasture;

• Application of high density mineral bond surfacing to roads in North Pasture, North Rifle and Highlands East;

• street and asphalt improvements at Airport Road, Railroad Avenue, Municipal Cemetery and Enterprise Court


Cost: Approximately $3.02 million; tender awarded to Velocity Constructors Inc., Englewood.

Vote: 4-2, with Mayor Ed Green and Councilman Joe Carpenter voting no.

Background: Rifle County Garfield Airport has an existing water tank that needs repair, Rifle Utilities Manager Robert Burns said. To do this, the installation of a redundant 500,000 gallon water tank is necessary in order to drain the existing tank and cover it to prevent leaks.

Importance: The airport water reservoir not only supplies the airport, it supplies the Colorado Mountain College Rifle, the Garfield County Road and Bridge District, and the Garfield County Sheriff’s Annex Building. These agencies buy water from Rifle.

Additionally, the water tank can serve as a backup water source for Rifle Town, while it can be used as a water source to fight any potential fires in the area.

Discussion: The idea of ​​buying a new water tank for the airport first arose in 2019, said Rifle civil engineer Craig Spaulding. The city then projected a cost of $1.2 million; however, inflation as well as rising costs for excavating bedrock to install the new reservoir have driven the price up, Spaulding said.

Members of the Rifle City Council asked if there were additional sources of funding to support the project, as it is not used as the city’s main water supply.

“It’s our reservoir, it’s our water system, and it’s our customers,” Burns said.

Construction schedule: Spaulding said the project is expected to be completed by November but could extend through spring 2023.

Road closures: not planned.


Cost: Approximately $1.48 million; tender given to Frontier Paving Inc., Rifle.

Vote: Unanimous

Background: Asphalt and street improvements are needed for repairs on Airport Road, Railroad Avenue, Enterprise Court and the Rifle Cemetery.

Importance: Meet regular infrastructure needs.

Discussion: The two most important items on this checklist are the Railroad Avenue and Airport Road road improvements.

Spaulding said the full grind and overlay business won’t completely shut down traffic; however, businesses in the Airport Road area can expect pavers to require time to perform activities near driveways.

Meanwhile, road improvement activities are planned for the Railroad Avenue Bridge at Ninth Street. The contractor will complete the project in two, Spaulding said.

“There will always be traffic going both ways,” he said. “The biggest thing on this one is avoiding the Garfield County Fair.”

Construction schedule: Spaulding said those projects could begin as early as July and end in September, depending on the order.

“There are different schedules for each of these locations,” Spaulding said.

Road closures: unforeseen.


Cost: Approximately $172,661; tender awarded to Andale Construction, Wichita, Kansas

Vote: Unanimous

Background: Planned to install high density mineral binder (HA5) on paved roads in North Rifle, Highlands East and North Pasture, the proposal to apply HA5 after sealing cracks on all roads required in these areas came in 2019. Now that all the necessary roads are crack sealed, the city intends to apply the binder to the roadways.

Importance: This type of bonding agent is a preventative measure that counteracts UV exposure and water infiltration. Applying the agent extends the life of asphalt pavement, said Public Works Manager Brian Prunty.

“It’s really good for preserving roadways – especially for new roadways,” he said.

Discussion: Rifle Town Council members asked why there weren’t more local contractors specializing in high density mineral bonding. Spaulding said it’s the only company to offer this service between Kansas and Nevada.

“Maybe it’s just the demand,” Spaulding said.

Construction schedule: From August 24 to October 2.

Road closures: The project will require some closures during application and curing.


Cost: About $37,967; tender awarded to Armor Proseal, Montrose.

Vote: Unanimous.

Background: The North Pasture neighborhood was primarily built between 2000 and 2008, Spaulding said. Chip sealing was carried out in this district in 2018.

Importance: Spaulding said there are now reflection cracks under the chip sealing done in 2018. Crack sealing is now required on all roads in North Pasture to prevent water from seeping into the asphalt, which can potentially cause damage.

Discussion: minimal

Construction schedule: From August 24 to October 2.

Road closures: not predicted ; however, traffic control procedures are expected.

Journalist Ray K. Erku can be reached at 612-423-5273 or [email protected]


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