Colorado Public Works Journal, Spring 2022

Spring2022| 57 APWA INSIGHTS Kirsten Armbruster Colorado APWA West Slope Branch Update Spring is a time for renewal – here on the West Slope of Colorado, the mountains release their beneficial snowmelt, and desert valleys and plateaus turn colorful with delicate flowers. Those in the higher elevations refer to this as the ‘mud season’. In my adopted home of Grand Junction, Spring is a time for cleanup! Since the early 1900s the City of Grand Junction has conducted an annual cleanup program to help residents get rid of yard waste and unusable household items. Last year, 53 City workers spent two weeks hauling 2,200 tons of debris to the County dump. When the crews aren’t performing the cleanup work, they help with street maintenance in preparation for the summer chip sealing and overlay work throughout the City. If the weather is warm enough, they can get an early start on filling those unwanted cracks and potholes. The Winter and early Spring season is also the best time in the Grand Valley to perform construction outside of the irrigation season and the sporting events. One of my projects currently under construction is a partial renovation of the seating stands at the Lincoln Park Sports Complex – Suplizio Field and Stocker Stadium. Stocker is home field to the Colorado Mesa University (CMU) Mavericks football team, as well as host to the four High School football teams and numerous track and field events in Grand Valley. Suplizio Field has hosted the JUCO (Junior College) World Series baseball tournament for over 60 years and is currently the home field for the top-ranked CMU baseball team. Fans from around the country flock to Suplizio Field at the end of May to watch the top Junior College teams compete (think of binge-watching baseball). If that isn’t enough baseball for you, Suplizio Field also hosts the GJ Rockies, members of the Pioneer Baseball League (and MLB ‘Partner League’). As part of the West Slope Branch of the Colorado American Public Works Association chapter, I have been the Treasurer for a little over one year and have been a Director for over three years. Being a part of the West Slope Branch has allowed me to make connections with others in the region in Public Works, learn about their methods of getting things done, and share our processes and experiences in the Grand Valley. West Slope Branch events start the year with the APWA-CARMA Spring Streets Golf Tournament, Conference and State Backhoe Championship. These events return from a two-year hiatus to Grand Junction in April. The DoubleTree Hotel will host the 35th Annual Spring Streets conference and State Backhoe championship at their convenient location at I-70 and Horizon Drive in north Grand Junction. I hope you can join us to learn about street maintenance, repairs, training, issues and events on the West Slope of Colorado! Check out the Colorado APWA website for details on registration and hotel reservations ( The 2022 Spring Golf Tournament will be held at the Tiara Rado golf course in the beautiful Redlands southwest of Grand Junction. Golf tournament proceeds go toward the West Slope Branch scholarship and internship programs. In the summer, the West Slope Branch hosts a meet-and-greet in August, so people can put a face to the names and voices they know, and to learn more about what we do as a chapter branch and how they can become involved. September is when the West Slope Snow & Ice Conference is held in Gunnison, and in December we hold our Annual Board meeting (open to all West Slope members). Each year the West Slope Branch of the Colorado APWA awards several scholarships to West Slope college or trade school students studying in the Public Works field. We also support our membership by providing Professional Development scholarships for continuing education as well as scholarships to attend the APWA Public Works Institute. If you are in the Public Works field on the West Slope of Colorado, please consider joining our membership and attending a conference. Whether it’s mud season or cleanup season, we welcome you to collaborate with us to move Public Works forward in our region! The author, Kirsten Armbruster, PE is Project Engineer at the City of Grand Junction, Public Works and can be contacted on