Contractors back city roads Measure 2B
Against a backdrop of an asphalt truck and two dump trucks, local contractors on Monday came out to support an upcoming municipal ballot measure that frees up funds for road construction in Grand Junction.
Referred Measure 2B asks Grand Junction voters whether the city can retain funds saved for early payoff of the Riverside Parkway debt to invest in upgrading the city’s roadways.
The measure is expected to cost an additional $820,000 in added interest, but it will allow an additional $22 million for spending on roads, supporters say. If voters approve the measure on April 4, the Riverside Parkway debt will be paid off in 2024 rather than 2021.
Contractors said they are in support of the measure because it would stem Grand Junction’s worsening pavement condition and add more local jobs for road construction without requiring a tax increase from the voters. Signs on the Elam Construction and United Companies trucks read, “Better roads without raising taxes, Vote YES on 2B.”
The event was hosted by the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce, the Western Colorado Business Alliance and the Colorado Asphalt Pavement Association.
Tom Peterson, the director of the Colorado Asphalt Pavement Association, said passage of the measure would help Grand Junction gets its roads up to better standards. That would reduce future costs of having to fully reconstruct roads and help contractors, the city and the community, he said.
“The timing is wise,” Peterson said. “By investing, we can get ahead of the curve rather than behind it. It’s hard to find a negative in the program.”
Randy Ficklin, a plant manager with Elam Construction, said a number of Grand Junction’s roads are in need of repair. Those include Pitkin and Ute avenues, Seventh and Ninth streets, areas south of Main Street and Orchard Avenue, to name a few.
“I don’t know how else you generate funds without raising taxes,” he said.
Grand Junction’s roads currently have an average rating of 69 out of 100 on a Pavement Condition Index. By comparison, the city had a rating of 78 in 2004. Ratings between 55 and 69 are considered fair. Ratings between 70 and 84 are satisfactory.
City officials have said the increase in funds could get the roads back to a rating of 73 over five years of road construction.
The city already invests about $3 million a year for road construction. If voters pass the measure, about $6.6 million a year would be invested in road maintenance projects, city officials have said.