THE ROADWAY ISSUE 04 • APRIL 2022
TABLE OF CONTENTS Introduction • P. 1
KEEPING YOU INFORMED This month's issue features an employee spotlight, information on how the El Paso County Department of Public Works (DPW) repairs potholes, the South Powers Extension Study, as well as upcoming and ongoing projects. We hope this newsletter helps you learn more about how we serve you, your neighborhood, and El Paso County. The El Paso County Department of Public Works (DPW) invites you to stay informed and connected with us!
Message from the Director • P. 2 Employee Spotlight • P. 3 Potholes • P. 4
South Powers Extension • P. 7 Featured Projects • P. 9
Year-to-Date Stats • P. 11
MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR K E V I N
M A S T I N
April is National County Government Month. During this month, counties are celebrated for providing a variety of programs and services that improve the quality of life of their residents. El Paso County Department of Public Works (DPW) is proud to provide one of these services. El Paso County has more than 2,100 miles of public roadways, ranging from major thoroughfares in urban areas to gravel roads and neighborhood streets. Every day, residents use our roads to commute to work, take their children to school, and enjoy all that El Paso County has to offer. In our fiscally challenging environment, we are constantly searching for cost-effective and EVERY DAY, RESIDENTS USE OUR ROADS TO COMMUTE TO WORK, TAKE THEIR CHILDREN TO SCHOOL, AND ENJOY ALL THAT EL PASO COUNTY HAS TO OFFER.
innovative solutions to preserve and improve new and existing roads as part of our commitment to safe, efficient, and sustainable infrastructure. April is not only National County Government Month but also the start of spring. Spring is the busiest time for potholes due to the ground thaw from winter and spring moisture. In this issue of the Roadway, you will learn how the Department of Public Works repairs potholes.
EMPLOYEE SPOTLIGHT J E S U S
R A M O S
Jesus Ramos started working for the El Paso County Department of Public Works in July 2021 as a Seasonal General Maintenance Worker responsible for cleaning the county's roadways. There was no doubt in his mind that he wanted to pursue a long-term career with the Department of Public Works. So, he started studying on his own time to get his driver's permit to pursue his Commercial Driver's License (CDL). Once he got his permit, he worked and studied hard through the Maintenance Worker I Entry Level program to secure his CDL. After securing his CDL and completing the Entry Level Program, Jesus was hired as a Maintenance Worker I and is now on the Truck String Crew operating a dump truck, graveling roads, and delivering materials to job sites. His wife and two daughters are very proud and supportive of him. Jesus's motto in life is "Never give up, keep trying no matter what is going on in your life. Keep striving to be the best." Jesus is looking forward to a bright future with the El Paso County Department of Works. We are excited to have someone dedicated, hardworking, and always seeking new opportunities to grow.
“Never give up, keep trying no matter what is going on in your life. Keep striving to be the best” ~Jesus Ramos PG 3
POTHOLES El Paso County roads are not immune to potholes. A pothole is a hole in the roadway that may vary in size and shape. The size of a pothole can range from a few inches wide and deep to several feet wide and several inches deep. They are caused by several different factors, including moisture under the surface, poor sub-surface material, and the natural cycle of freezing and thawing. The repair of potholes is the responsibility of the El Paso County Department of Public Works Highway Division Asphalt Crew. The Department takes a strategic approach to pothole repairs. When the Asphalt Crew receives a request for a pothole repair, the first thing they do is evaluate the request: What type of road is the pothole on? (high-speed, high-volume vs low speed, low volume) Can the repair be delayed until a few more requests in the same area are received to increase our efficiency and fix several potholes at once? Is there a potential threat to public safety or potential damage to public or private property? Another factor to consider is the weather. Weather plays a significant role in the quality and durability of a repair. Asphalt repair should not be performed at temperatures below 40 degrees. During the winter months, asphalt crews will perform emergency repairs to potholes but may need to perform the repairs again in warmer weather because the materials may not adhere well to the pavement. PG 4
HOW ARE POTHOLES REPAIRED? There are several methods to repair a pothole depending on the size of the pothole and the condition of the road. The first step is to clean the pothole and remove all loose debris, including dust, dirt, and rocks. Next, the asphalt crew will determine the best method to repair the pothole. Below are some methods commonly used by El Paso County Asphalt Crews: Hot Mix Asphalt A hot mix asphalt is a mixture of materials such as sand, gravel, and asphalt cement that is heated before being applied. Crews will fill the pothole with the hot mix asphalt and compact it with a steel drum roller. The benefits of using hot mix asphalt are: Weather-resistant Shorter installation process results in minimal road closures Durable for heavy traffic roads Flexible and malleable to temperature changes resulting in fewer cracks or damage Longer lasting solution Cold Mix Asphalt: Cold mix asphalt is commonly used for small repairs or patches. The asphalt doesn't require heating, and it can be poured directly on cracks or potholes to prevent the damage from spreading. Cost-effective Temporary solution SQUARED OUT REPAIRS: Some potholes will get "squared out" with a jackhammer to help with pushing. Pushing is where a vehicle tire will push the asphalt towards the direction of travel if the hole has a dish or bowl-shaped bottom. Squaring the sides up to be more vertical will help prevent the asphalt from pushing up the side, almost like a ramp. DIG-OUT REPAIRS: Some potholes require a "dig-out" where crews will use equipment to dig beneath the pothole to address underlying damage generally caused by poor sub-base material. These are likely larger potholes that can't be repaired by hand. PG 5
IS THERE A LONG-TERM SOLUTION?
The long-term solution to potholes is to continue to make investments into our infrastructure through preventative maintenance strategies such as crack seal, chip seal, and mill and asphalt overlay to extend the life of pavements. In some cases, the total reconstruction of aging pavements may be necessary.
HOW DO I SUBMIT A POTHOLE REPAIR? Residents can submit a pothole repair request through our online Citizen Connect portal https://citizenconnect.elpasoco.com, the EPC Citizen Connect app (available on Android and iPhone), or by calling the Department of Public Works Customer Service number 719-520-6460.
WHAT INFORMATION IS IMPORTANT WHEN REPORTING A POTHOLE? When reporting a pothole, it is important to include a description of the approximate size and depth, and the location. In addition, if you could include a picture of the pothole with your submission, that would be helpful to the crews who are evaluating your request.
SAFETY TIPS FOR DRIVING OVER POTHOLES Tires should be inflated to full pressure to provide the maximum cushion between the pothole and the rim. Always check surrounding traffic before swerving around potholes. Watch out for standing water that may conceal a pothole. Slow down if you cannot avoid the pothole. Hitting a pothole at high speed increases the risk of vehicle damage. Don't brake directly over a pothole. Applying the brakes causes the vehicle's weight to shift to the front wheels and increases damage. Instead, it's better to brake before you hit the pothole and then roll through it slowly. Hold the steering wheel firmly to avoid losing control when driving over a pothole-filled road. PG 6
SOUTH POWERS EXTENSION STUDY El Paso County, in conjunction with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), has initiated a Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL) study and Access Control Plan (ACP) for the extension of South Powers Boulevard. Since 1963, Powers Boulevard has been planned as a by-pass alternative to Interstate-25 along the eastern edge of the City of Colorado Springs. As one of Colorado's 28 strategic corridors and a key element of the National Highway System, Powers Boulevard is a critical corridor supporting local, regional, and national mobility. As a component of the Region's Congestion Management Plan, South Powers Boulevard would provide access to five major military installations, be the major north/south thoroughfare for the rapidly developing City of Colorado Springs and provide an alternate route to the City of Colorado Springs Airport and its surrounding business park. The Vision for the South Powers Boulevard Extension is to develop a resilient roadway that improves safety, connectivity, and reliability and provides an alternative route to I-25. The proposed corridor aspires to provide connectivity for all modes of transportation with an emphasis on implementing green infrastructure practices. The PEL study will build upon previous planning documents to identify a South Powers Boulevard Extension corridor alignment. It will support El Paso County, local agencies, stakeholders, and the public to determine future improvements. It will focus on identifying a recommended alignment with interchange recommendations for extending Powers Boulevard from where it currently ends at Mesa Ridge Parkway (SH 16) to I-25.
OPEN HOUSE The public is invited to learn about the project and provide input during an Open House on Wednesday, May 25, 5:30 – 7:00 p.m., at the City of Fountain City Hall, 116 S. Main Street, Fountain CO 80817 The Open House is an opportunity for the public to: Learn about the PEL study Review the Vision for the corridor and the reason for the project Review the Environmental Resources in the area Submit comments or questions to the project team Provide valued input to help shape the recommendations for the corridor American sign language and Spanish interpretation services are available upon request by sending an email at least five days in advance to: SouthPowersExtensionStudy@gmail.com Sign up to receive notices of the public meeting and study process updates by sending an email requesting to be added to the distribution list to: SouthPowersExtensionStudy@gmail.com
HWY 105 Future capacity and safety improvements on Highway 105 will be completed in segments. The project's first segment, known as Project A (I-25 interchange east ramps to Lake Woodmoor Drive), will extend the 4-lane section east of Knollwood Drive and includes improved shoulders and additional turn lanes and sidewalks. The second segment of the project, known as Project B (Lake Woodmoor Drive to Martingale Drive) will generally include widening the road to 3-lanes, improving the vertical alignment, and adding shoulders and additional turn lanes. Ongoing goals for Project A and B include the final design and property acquisition to take both projects to construction. Preliminary design for the remainder of the corridor (Martingale Drive to SH-83) continues. The phasing of construction of future segments will continue to be evaluated as part of the ongoing design. Stay up to date on this project and other roadwork in El Paso County by visiting https://publicworks.elpasoco.com/roadbridge/construction-maintenance-projects .
CURRENT ALLOCATED FUNDING
ESTIMATED COMPLETION DATE
WWW.PUBLICWORKS.ELPASOCO.COM PG 9
FOUNTAIN MESA & CABALLERO AVENUE INTERSECTION UPDATE Traffic management and intersection safety improvements. The new intersection will be a single-lane roundabout, including pedestrian crossings areas, ADA improvements, drainage improvements, new lighting, and restriping. Fortman Avenue east of Fountain Mesa Road is closed to traffic as crews work on the east side of the road. The road is expected to be closed until May 28, 2022, weather permitting. The appropriate signage and detours are in place. Please visit the project website at: https://www.projectpublic.info/fountain-mesa for addition project information and related traffic impacts.
ESTIMATED ALLOCATED FUNDING
El Paso County TABOR Funds
ESTIMATED COMPLETION DATE
WWW.PUBLICWORKS.ELPASOCO.COM PG 10
WORK IN REVIEW (YTD) LANE MILES SERVICED
MILES DUST ABATED
CUSTOMER SERVICE REQUESTS
CUSTOMER SERVICE REQUESTS COMPLETED 250 200 150 100 50 0
Animal Removal Trash Removal (59)
TOP CUSTOMER SERVICE REQUESTS (YTD 2022)
EL PASO COUNTY PUBLIC WORKS 3275 AKERS DRIVE COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO 80922 719.520.6879 WWW.PUBLICWORKS.ELPASOCO.COM