EL PASO COUNTY — After our week-long investigation into failing road conditions in a neighborhood just east of Colorado Springs. County leaders including the public works director now say a clear plan must be established for a long term fix. The streets in Colorado Centre are so bad they can't be resurfaced and have to be rebuilt. The work on this 4 miles of roadway will cost more than the El Paso County annual budget for roads. So, how will county leaders come up with the money? Homeowners may soon get an answer.
People living in Colorado Centre have been complaining to El Paso County leaders for years about the condition of their streets.
El Paso County Public Works Executive Director Scot Cuthbertson is trying to do something previous public works leaders couldn't, find a way to fix Colorado Centre roads before things get even worse.
"My concern is in the next decade we need to address this challenge. (Why?) These roads continue to get worse and continue to crack and pot hole and eventually to use the term that was used in there they will completely fail and then we really have a significant problem on our hands," said Cuthbertson. "It does keep me up at night."
The problem is these roads have been so neglected they are beyond repair.
"If we were just to overlay or resurface these roads in this neighborhood in two years or so the brand new pavement would collapse or fall apart because of the damage of the road underneath," said Cuthbertson.
So a complete rebuild is the best option, but the price tag is $5 to $7 Million. County Commissioner Longinos Gonzalez has the difficult task of fighting for money to fix the roads in Colorado Centre, while still budgeting money to maintain all 2200 miles of roadway across the county.
"I'm going to get with our public works director make sure we get those patches and the maintenance and make sure we address the immediate needs now and then long-term repairs that we get that on a schedule. Again, that may be a little longer than some residents want, but I'm going to continue to fight to get the dollars," said Commissioner Gonzalez.
Joan Lucia-Treese has lived in this area since 1991 and says in the wake of our News5 investigation she feels the neighborhood's crumbling streets are being seriously looked at by county leaders for the first time in decades.
"Do I think it's going to happen tomorrow? No. But at least we are in the discussion phase. We now have the attention of our elected officials to realize these roads are at complete failure and so for that I'm grateful. They are listening. They hear us," said Lucia Treese.
El Paso County leaders will set the future public works and roads budget in November. We will be sure to follow up to see what money might be allocated to address the road problems in Colorado Centre. In the meantime, county leaders ask that El Paso County residents report any road issues in their area through Citizen Connect.