THE ROADWAY ISSUE 01 • JANUARY 2022
TABLE OF CONTENTS
KEEPING YOU INFORMED In this first newsletter, we will share the highlights of 2021 along with information about our completed projects, our upcoming projects, and how the county prepares for and responds to winter weather. We hope this newsletter helps you learn more about how we serve you, your neighborhood, and El Paso County. DPW invites you to stay informed and connected with us!
Introduction • P. 1 Letter from Director • P. 2 2021 in Review • P. 3 DPW Projects • P. 4
Winter Weather Report • P. 8 Contact Us • P. 11
MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR K E V I N
M A S T I N
Happy New Year! Let me start by saying that it is a privilege and honor to serve the citizens of El Paso County. I am excited to announce the launch of "The Roadway,” a monthly newsletter that keeps you connected to the crews on your roads and informed of all the services and projects we are working on. Why does this matter? Because the Department of Public Works (DPW) serves the community in many ways; ways that affect our residents on a daily basis. From maintaining and improving roads and bridges to caring for traffic signs and signals, snowplowing, filling potholes, and even new construction; we do it all. EVERYWHERE YOU GO IN EL PASO COUNTY, YOU SEE THE HANDPRINTS OF WHAT PUBLIC WORKS EMPLOYEES DO FOR OUR COUNTY AND CITIZENS.
2021 YEAR IN REVIEW LANE MILES SERVICED 200 150 100 50 0
Dust Abated (186.28)
Crack Seal (31.11)
Chip Seal (71.66)
15,229 POTHOLES REPAIRED
CUSTOMER SERVICE REQUESTS
CUSTOMER SERVICE REQUESTS COMPLETED 1,250 1,000 750 500 250 0
Animal Removal Trash Removal
TOP CUSTOMER SERVICE REQUESTS (2021)
PUBLIC WORKS PROJECTS The El Paso County Department of Public Works Construction and Maintenance Projects website informs citizens of shortterm, long-term, and weekly road work and maintenance projects in El Paso County. The website includes information on current capital construction projects, transportation planning, road maintenance, work in the right of way, and other highway projects.
WORK ZONE SAFETY TIPS FOR DRIVERS: SLOW DOWN AND FOLLOW SPEED LIMITS THROUGH WORK ZONES WATCH FOR WORKERS, EQUIPMENT, SIGNS AND BARRICADES USE CAUTION WHEN TRAVELING THROUGH THE WORK ZONE PLAN FOR EXTRA TRAVEL TIME PREPARE FOR DETOURS AND ALTERNATE ROUTES
PLEASE VISIT THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS’ CONSTRUCTION AND MAINTENANCE PROJECTS PAGE FOR MORE INFORMATION: HTTPS://PUBLICWORKS.ELPASOCO.COM/ROADBRIDGE/CONSTRUCTION-MAINTENANCE-PROJECTS/
THE SCHEDULE FOR CONSTRUCTION AND MAINTENANCE PROJECTS ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE DUE TO WEATHER OR RESOURCE AVAILABILITY.
PEYTON DRAINAGE & TRANSPORTATION MASTER PLAN The Master Plan will assist in better understanding current drainage and road infrastructure challenges, so we can identify solutions and address concerns over the short and long term. El Paso County is working closely with local stakeholders, regional municipal partners, and members of the public to solicit feedback and recommendations throughout the planning process. Two public meetings were held in June and October of 2021. The next meeting on January 11, 2022, with the Stakeholder group, includes representatives from CDOT, local school districts, and utility companies.
ESTIMATED COMPLETION DATE
February 15, 2022
MCLAUGHLIN / OLD MERIDIAN ROUNDABOUT The new roundabout is a safety improvement that includes associated approaches and pedestrian facilities including new sidewalks, curb ramps, pavement markings at the intersection of McLaughlin Road, Old Meridian Road and Rolling Thunder Way. The improvements will help reduce driver confusion, traffic accidents, and efficiently handle future traffic volumes. The project also includes reconstruction of existing New Meridian from US24 through the Rolling Thunder intersection. Project completed on November 31, 2021.
Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority (PPRTA)
ESTIMATED COMPLETION DATE
Project COMPLETED: November 30, 2021
FOUNTAIN MESA & CABALLERO INTERSECTION 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. Construction for the project started on November 1, 2021. Since December 6, contractor has been working on the removals (asphalt, curb, sidewalk, etc.) and installing the new storm line on the west side of the intersection. Please visit the project website at: https://www.projectpublic.info/fountainmesa for additional project information and related traffic impacts.
El Paso County TABOR Funds
ESTIMATED COMPLETION DATE
December 31, 2022
WINTER WEATHER PUBLIC WORKS PREPARES BEFORE THE SNOWSTORM The El Paso County Department of Public Works (DPW) plays an important role in the county’s response to winter weather and dedicates much of the fall to preparing for snow season. Part of that preparation is Public Works’ annual Snow Week during which employees spend an entire week inspecting and conducting training on snow and ice removal equipment as well as sharpening their skills by running through various ice and snow response scenarios to ensure they are prepared and ready for winter operations.
BEFORE THE SNOW FALLS Ahead of every storm, as a proactive antiicing approach, the El Paso County Department of Public Works pretreats roads, bridges, and overpasses with salt brine which is a mixture of salt and water. The reason for using salt brine ahead of every storm is to decrease the likelihood of snow and ice bonding to a pavement surface as well as preventing frost from forming on pavement surfaces. Pretreating pavement surfaces with salt brine is a much more cost-effective alternative that only requires one-quarter to one-fifth the amount of salt required for deicing after a snow or ice event has occurred. Once the salt brine is applied and dry, it creates a layer that prevents the ice and snow from freezing to (or icing onto) the pavement surface making it easier for snowplows to remove. In other words, it works like non-stick cooking spray by preventing the ice from sticking to the pavement. For those concerned about how salt brine might affect their vehicles, DPW adds a rust inhibitor to their salt brine to protect drivers’ vehicles.
WHEN A SNOWSTORM HITS, WHICH ROADS GET PLOWED? El Paso County's diverse terrain and proximity to the mountains can cause a wide range of storm and road conditions in any given area. When a snow or ice storm occurs, El Paso County has limited resources and uses the following priority system for plowing 1,100 miles of paved roads: Priority 1 Roads: Major arterial roads that service a lot of traffic, and more importantly, emergency vehicles, public transit, school buses, etc. Priority 2 Roads: Collector roads that provide access to major arterials from residential neighborhoods, commercial areas and residential roads located at higher elevations that have significant grades and/or are located in forested areas with reduced exposure to the sun. Priority 3 Roads: All other paved roads (residential/cul-de-sacs) not included in Priority 1 or priority 2 classifications. Plow operations will commence when priority 1 and 2 roads are passable for winter driving conditions. For a full list of County roads and their priority level, visit the following County website: https://publicworks.elpasoco.com/road-bridge/snow-plowing El Paso County does not have a “bare pavement” ice and snow removal policy. What this means is that bare pavement is not required for a road to be safe for winter driving conditions. Snow covering a road does not necessarily mean the road must by plowed. For any given road condition, it is the driver’s responsibility to ensure their vehicle is equipped with proper tires (or chains/cables) and is driven at a speed that is safe for the road condition.
AFTER THE STORM DPW will continue to monitor County roads and intersections even after a storm has passed and address any issues that might arise from snow being blown onto roadways or from melting snow and ice that refreezes due to decreases in temperatures. Residents and business owners are reminded of the following: It is your responsibility to clear all sidewalks within 24 hours after the end of an ice or snow event. It is your responsibility, after plows have cleared the snow from your roadways, to remove any snow that might get deposited on your sidewalk or at the end of your driveways. Please see this link for techniques on how to reduce the amount of snow that might get deposited at the end of your driveway: https://www.codot.gov/travel/assets/driveway-snow-removalflyer_statewide_2020.pdf Colorado law (Statute 43-5-301) prohibits the plowing, blowing, shoveling or otherwise placing of snow onto public roadways and right-of-way (ROW) areas along the roadside. El Paso County is committed to keeping roads as safe as possible using all available resources. Due to the diversity of terrain in El Paso County, weather impacts may vary widely even in localized areas. Snow covered and/or slick roads are not unusual in El Paso County or Colorado. Significant snow events of 4 to 6 inches are very passable for drivers who are prepared and have prepared their vehicle for the winter.
One of the biggest ways drivers can help is by preparing themselves for winter weather and road conditions. The following is a list winter driving tips: Prepare your car for winter – Have a mechanic look at the condition of your brakes, tires, battery, etc. Have a full tank of gas Check the weather before you go Check road conditions at www.cotrip.org Don’t leave home without your winter emergency kit, which should include: Water and nonperishable, high-energy snacks First aid kit Flashlight with extra batteries Ice scraper Shovel Flares or other warning devices Booster cable Tire chains or cables Let family members or friends know your travel plans including destination, route and expected time of arrival Give plows plenty of space It is now a Class A traffic offense to pass a snowplow operated by a state, county or local agency when the truck is displaying its lights and operating in a tandem formation with one or more snowplows Move over for emergency or stalled vehicles Plan extra time into your commute and drive cautiously Ensure your speed is appropriate for conditions and allow extra following and stopping distances
Public Works crews are here to help keep us safe before, during, and after an ice or snow event. Let’s do our part to keep ourselves safe and help them care for our roads.
EL PASO COUNTY PUBLIC WORKS 3275 AKERS DRIVE COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO 80922 719.520.6879 WWW.PUBLICWORKS.ELPASOCO.COM