THE ROADWAY ISSUE 03 • MARCH 2022
TABLE OF CONTENTS Introduction • P. 1
KEEPING YOU INFORMED In this issue, you will find information about gravel road maintenance, the Road Safety Plan, American Rescue Plan Act funds for roads and stormwater infrastructure, and upcoming 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 Gravel Roads • P. 3 Road Safety Plan • P. 6
ARPA Projects Update • P. 8 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
As we approach the month of April, it is time to start thinking about “Spring Cleanup." While most people think about cleaning up their yards, many don’t realize they are responsible for ensuring the culverts under their driveways remain clear and free of any debris that could impede normal water drainage. In addition to keeping culverts clear, citizens are also responsible for keeping everything clear for 10 feet on each side of their driveway culverts. For our citizens who live in residential areas that don’t have culverts, please keep an eye on the drainage areas in your neighborhoods. If you see anything that could impede normal IT IS TIME TO THINK ABOUT SPRING CLEANUP AND KEEPING THE DRAINAGE AREAS IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD CLEAR.
water drainage, please use Citizen Connect to create a Service Request to report any issues, and we will take care of it. Please call us at 719-520-6460 if you have any questions.
GRAVEL ROAD MAINTENANCE El Paso County has more than 2,100 centerline miles of roads, half of which are gravel roads. Gravel roads are unpaved roads made of small rock, gravel, or other aggregate road surfacing material. The El Paso County Department of Public Works is responsible for the routine maintenance of 1,049 centerline miles of gravel roads. The El Paso County Department of Public Works is busy throughout the spring, summer, and fall with the maintenance and repairs of gravel roads, including grading, dust abatement, and graveling. Most gravel roads are maintained on a 6 – 8 week schedule. The Department of Public Works is currently working on creating a Frequency of Service schedule that will allow our citizens to see real-time data on when we last serviced their roadway and when they might expect the next service to occur. Our goal is to provide our citizens insight into the frequency of service for roadways of interest to them.
GRAVEL ROADS ARE UNPAVED ROADS MADE UP OF SMALL ROCK, GRAVEL, OR OTHER AGGREGATE ROAD SURFACING MATERIAL
GRAVELING Over time, weather and vehicle traffic deteriorate the surface of gravel roads. Therefore, graveling is performed to rebuild the riding surface of the gravel road. El Paso County road crews regravel anywhere from 7 to 15 centerline miles of gravel roads each year. Most El Paso County gravel roads have an established center crown or slope with 28 feet of total width, 24-foot road width, and 2-foot shoulders. Crews prepare subgrade, clean, and reshape ditches and cross/driveway culverts as needed. They will also add or replace damaged culverts as required. Crews then haul fresh gravel to spread across the roadway to create a stable gravel surface. DPW utilizes in-house and contract trucks to haul materials to the roadway maintenance sites. Benefits of Graveling Enhance driving experience Improve roadway maintainability Increase the safety of the road
GRADING The Department of Public Works grades most El Paso County gravel roads four to six times a year, prioritizing those heavily traveled. Crews use a grader, also called a blade, to smooth out the roadway. Moving around 4 mph, the graders go back and forth multiple times to smooth out the surface of 1,000 miles of roads, tallying up more than 17,000 miles traveled and 35,000 hours of work in a year. Benefits of Grading: Re-establish a “crown” or cross slope to the roadway Address drainage/ditch issues Remove washboards and potholes Improve overall condition of the road Enhance driving experience Increase the safety of the road PG 4
The dust abatement process reduces dust on gravel roads. The operation uses a reclaimer machine, multiple graders, large water distribution trucks, and rubber tires and drum rollers. Moving no more than 8 mph, the reclaimer works like a giant tiller. On El Paso County roads, we dig up to 3 inches of gravel and mix it with a special water and magnesium chloride solution. The reason for using magnesium chloride is that it is very effective for controlling moisture. It helps create a stable road base and keeps the dust down by taking in moisture from the air and surrounding environment and retaining it for a long time. Once the mixture is deposited onto the road, a fleet of rollers follow to compact and shape the road surface. Graders are then used to smooth out the road. El Paso County applies dust abatement product to approximately 100 centerline miles of gravel roads a year. It takes approximately 6,000 gallons of dust abatement product and approximately 75,000 gallons of water to prep and apply the dust abatement for one mile of gravel road. The cost of dust abatement product to complete 100 centerline miles we do a year is approximately $500,000. Benefits of Dust Abatement Minimize the amount of routine maintenance required Improve sight distance with dust reduction Enhance driving experience Increase safety on the road Reduce dust particulates in the air Please visit the El Paso County Department of Public Works Construction and Maintenance Projects page for more information on maintenance and repairs in your area: https://publicworks.elpasoco.com/roadbridge/construction-maintenance-projects/. The construction and maintenance projects schedule is subject to change due to weather or resource availability.
ROAD SAFETY PLAN El Paso County is working with a consultant team and local stakeholders to develop a local Road Safety Plan, including law enforcement, emergency responders, engineers, public outreach specialists, and advocates. The Road Safety Plan will guide the county and partner agencies in implementing recommendations based on an innovative data-driven approach to traffic safety. Whether taking public transit, walking, driving, or riding as a passenger in a vehicle, the Road Safety Plan with help make county roads safer and reduce serious injuries and deaths. As part of this effort, El Paso County has conducted a detailed analysis of current safety and crash trends in the region to understand where, why, and how crashes occur. This analysis also included input from the public regarding their road safety concerns. The conclusion was that the top five contributing circumstances of fatalities and serious injuries on El Paso County roads are: Speeding – Drivers not following safe or legal speed limits. Intersections – Drivers not paying attention to signs, signals, or other motorists at intersections. Lane Departures – Drivers driving off the road or into someone else’s lane. Seatbelts - Drivers or passengers not wearing seatbelts. Impaired – Drivers operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Based on the analysis, the Road Safety Plan will include the following strategies to address the contributing circumstances of fatalities and serious injuries on El Paso County roads: Education campaigns about the importance of following speed limits, wearing seatbelts, and not driving while distracted or impaired. Encourage people to get excited about road safety with marketing campaigns, special events, or contests. Encourage drivers to wear their seatbelts, follow speed limits, and not drive while impaired or distracted. Engineering enhancements to road configurations, signs, signals, etc. Enforcement of traffic laws to help change driver behavior and reduce unsafe driving practices. Evaluation of ongoing data and trends to continue to address contributing circumstances to keep our roads safe. The next step in the process is to present the draft of the Road Safety Plan to the Highway Advisory Commission for review and feedback and then to the El Paso County Board of County Commissioners for consideration. El Paso County has a comprehensive website to share information with the public throughout the Road Safety Plan process that includes a dashboard displaying results from El Paso County’s crash data analysis. The public can visit https://www.epcsaferroads.com to stay informed about upcoming Road Safety Plan meetings, presentations, and updates.
ARPA ROAD AND STORMWATER INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS In 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) passed by Congress and signed into law by the president allocated $65.1 billion in direct aid to counties for costs associated with the ongoing response and recovery from the pandemic to lay the groundwork for a strong, equitable recovery. El Paso County was allocated a total of $139.9 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding. The first allocation of $69.9 million was received in May 2021, and a second equal allocation is expected in May 2022. The federal government outlined specific allowable uses for ARPA funding. The funds can be used to support the ongoing response and recovery to the COVID-19 pandemic and address its negative economic impact, supplement government revenue to the extent of loss to provide public services, invest in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure, and premium pay for essential workers. The ARPA Final Rule was released earlier this year and provided greater flexibility by allowing counties to take an irrevocable one-time $10 million assumed lost revenue allowance. This $10 million could be used for any regular government service. The El Paso County Board of County Commissioners unanimously supported investing the entire $10 million in road infrastructure. The $10 million will be used for graveling, pothole repair, and pavement resurfacing throughout the county. The $10 million ARPA allocation for roads is in addition to the additional $14 million allocated by commissioners during the regular 2022 budget session. The $14 million will be used for reconstruction, overlay, and pavement preparation projects. Additionally, $15 million in ARPA funding was also allocated to stormwater projects, including ditch improvements, drainage basin studies, and drainage improvements. For more information about how El Paso County is investing ARPA funding into the community, please visit https://admin.elpasoco.com/arpa. PG 8
ELBERT ROAD BRIDGE DECK REPLACEMENT PROJECT El Paso County will perform bridge deck replacement and maintenance work along Elbert Road between Latigo Road and Murphy Road starting in April 2022, weather and resources permitting. Elbert Road will be closed approximately 0.4 miles north of Latigo Road. Detours will be in place for the duration of the project, and drivers are encouraged to seek alternate routes of travel. Stay up to date on this project and other roadwork in El Paso County by visiting https://publicworks.elpasoco.com/roadbridge/construction-maintenance-projects.
Road and Bridge Fund and Federal Funding
ESTIMATED COMPLETION DATE
WWW.PUBLICWORKS.ELPASOCO.COM PG 9
BRADLEY ROAD / GRINNELL BOULEVARD INTERSECTION El Paso County will construct a traffic signal at the intersection of Bradley Road and Grinnell Boulevard starting in June 2022, weather and resources permitting. The new signal will improve traffic operations and safety at the intersection. Stay up to date on this project and other roadwork happening in El Paso County by visiting https://publicworks.elpasoco.com/roadbridge/construction-maintenance-projects/.
Road & Bridge Fund
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 125 100 75 50 25 0
Animal Removal Trash Removal (33)
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