Repairs under way on Riverside Parkway

The general contractor for the Riverside Parkway in Grand Junction is paying to repair cracks in the roadway even though the company says the fault lies with the design.

An official with the City of Grand Junction says responsibility for the design was spread among several entities, and the bottom line is that taxpayer won’t foot the bill and the cracks should be repaired by the end of January.

A spokesman for SEMA Construction in Centennial refuted the city’s characterization of the repairs of cracks as warranty work, but said SEMA will perform the work to maintain a good relationship with the city.

The city initially said cracks in a section of the roadway where the parkway crosses Fifth Street occurred because dirt used to construct a bridge embankment settled several inches.

SEMA countered, however, that the cracks occurred because of unstable ground in the Colorado River floodplain in the area.
In a letter to a local newspaper, SEMA laid the blame at the feet of the city led design team. The design team included Jacobs Carter Burgess, a Denver company that worked closely with the Grand Junction Public Works Department, structural engineers, technical engineers and environmental analysts.

Given the number of entities involved, it’s difficult to lay blame on anyone or  prove the design was the problem, said Tim Moore, directory of the city public works department. “We don’t know the design was flawed,” Moore said.

Even if the design was to blame, Moore said it’s impractical to analyze every inch of ground for a 7-mile parkway before building such a project. And no matter whose fault it might be, Moore said the cracks are a minor problem given the scope of the project.

“Overall, it looks good to us,” Moore said of the parkway, which includes seven bridges that presented bigger challenges than simply constructing a roadway over flat terrain. “This was a huge project.”
According to SEMA, the repairs will cost an estimated $100,000, less than a tenth of a percent of the cost of the $110 million parkway.