“Show me the progress.” This is the challenge posed by hardworking taxpayers to every public works department in the country. Show me that you are efficiently and effectively spending my tax dollars so that I can drive safely from point A to point B.
Here in Colorado Springs, that challenge was baked into the 2C Program before the roadway maintenance and improvement initiative even became reality. That was six years ago.
Six years ago, the citizens of Colorado Springs demanded our crumbling roadways be addressed.
So, we went to the voters and asked for a chance to show what we could do with a dedicated funding source to improve the trajectory of our failing roadway infrastructure.
Fast forward to June, and here we are in the middle of the final paving season approved by voters in the 2015 election. Since that time, we’ve truly made incredible progress.
By the end of this year, we will have repaved roughly 1,070 lane miles, which is about the same distance from Colorado Springs to Chicago. We’ve also addressed critical concrete needs along these roads, which will lengthen the lifespan of our streets.
Not to be overlooked, this concrete work has made adjacent sidewalks and crosswalks accessible for all, a federal mandate, and the right thing to do.
We’ve repaved Platte Avenue, Nevada Avenue, North Cheyenne Canyon Road, Garden of the Gods Road, North and South Carefree Circle, South Academy Boulevard, Woodmen Road, Union Boulevard, Research Parkway, Briargate Parkway, Chelton Road, Jet Wing Drive and many roads in between.
There is certainly much to celebrate. However, this is only the beginning.
The roads that have been repaved since 2016, mainly arterials and collectors (i.e. “main roads”), were among the worst in the city.
These main roads were targeted for a variety of reasons, not only were they in bad shape, but they are the roadways most often used by citizens.
Now, as we prepare to embark on our second five years of the 2C program — thanks to another vote of confidence at the ballot in 2019 — the program will alter its focus to target more residential roadways, in addition to finishing the main arterials. Residential roadways made up 8% of the roads repaved within the first five years.
In the second five years of 2C, 50% of the roads repaved by the program will be residential.
In the never-ending challenge to maintain and improve our roadway infrastructure, we’re showing progress. The program is ahead of schedule and within budget. Between 2015 and 2019, claims associated with damage due to roadway conditions are down by a whopping 93%. The program is not only successful, it is adding significance, and we appreciate your patience and continued support as we make it happen.
As always, we invite you to join us on the journey.
You can see the work that’s been done and the work that’s planned at www.coloradosprings.gov/2c.
Corey Farkas is city of Colorado Springs public works operations & maintenance division manager.