One question we get a lot is, “Why isn’t my street on the paving list? It’s been years since it was paved!”
There are many streets that need maintenance that did not make it on the list, but that doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten about them. We can’t pave every street at once, so here’s a look at how we prioritize what gets paved and when.
First, we made a conscious decision to spread 2C paving out across the city, so that no area would be neglected. We’ve accomplished that by mindfully distributing the number of lane miles for repaving throughout each of the City Council districts.
High-tech tools provide a rating
Second, we use high-tech tools to measure the condition of all our roads. That data is then used to assign a rating between 1-100 with one being the worst condition and 100 being the best. This is called an OCI rating. The 2C paving list focuses on repaving roads that range between 30-70.
Roads rated below 30 must be completely reconstructed, which is funded as a capital project by the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority (PPRTA). Recent examples of reconstructed roads include Rockrimmon Boulevard, Pikes Peak Avenue, Centennial Boulevard, and starting next year, South Academy Boulevard.
Roads rated above 70 are still considered in good condition. These roads are treated with preventive maintenance, like chip seal and crack seal, to extend their lifespan. Preventive maintenance is funded by PPRTA.
Third, we consider the volume of traffic using the road. The first five years of 2C focused on paving arterial roads that impact a high volume of traffic. Starting in 2021, we will start paving some residential streets as well. The streets we’ve chosen are within that 30-70 OCI rating, have a higher volume of traffic, and are in all parts of the city.
The types of neighborhood streets that meet all three of these criteria tend to be neighborhood collector streets or the main streets in and out of your neighborhood.
Efficiency through coordination
We also coordinate with Colorado Springs Utilities, Stormwater Enterprise and others to coordinate repaving with the work they need to do too. Ideally, we want that other work to happen before or at the same time as 2C paving to reduce the chance of having to dig up a newly paved road after the fact.
We know there are more streets that need to be paved. Colorado Springs has approximately 6,000 lane miles of roadway. About 1,700 are arterial roads and 3,465 are neighborhood roads. By the end of 2025, 2C paving will have resurfaced approximately one-third of our city’s streets.
We’re still playing catch up from two decades of neglect before the 2C program. Funding challenges decimated the Public Works’ ability to provide regular maintenance on city streets. In the 1990’s, a half-cent sales tax to fund infrastructure was eliminated. Then there were two significant downturns in revenue after 9/11 and during the great recession which started in 2008. Over that time, the cost of paving and concrete costs far outstripped inflation, and cities were required by the Americans with Disabilities Act to update concrete sidewalks and pedestrian ramps. By 2015, more than 60 percent of our roads were in a state of rapid deterioration and less than 16 percent were rated “good” by the overall condition index.
Our roadway infrastructure has benefited greatly from 2C. Anyone who has driven in a car in our city over the last four years has benefited from 2C paving. We are thankful to voters for approving this historic change, and we are committed to continuing the good work to keep our infrastructure well maintained for all who travel it.