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Despite record temperatures, El Paso County road crews prepare for winter

Posted at 11:27 PM, Sep 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-19 01:27:36-04

COLORADO SPRINGS – Tuesday’s high temperatures stretched into the upper 80s and lower 90s Tuesday around the Pikes Peak region, but that didn’t stop El Paso County road crews from getting ready for wintry conditions.

Crews spent their day testing snow removal equipment to make sure it’s ready for the winter months. Another part of the training is making sure staff is also ready.

”It doesn’t matter if you’ve got 22 years with El Paso County, or this is your first snow
season with El Paso County, everybody’s going through the training,” said Highway Foreman Scott Parker.

Crews tested their skills with loader and backhoe operations, even changing tires on vehicles. El Paso County has 80 plow drivers and more than 20 grader operators who cover almost 2,200 miles of roads in the county.

Those roads are divided into three priority levels:

Priority One Roads are defined as all paved roads that are identified on the El Paso County Major Transportation Corridor map as major arterials, and such other road sections as defined by the Director of the Department of Transportation. There are 183 unique named Priority One roads totaling 870 miles.

Priority Two Roads are defined as roads that collect traffic from subdivision roads and allow traffic circulation within residential areas, while providing channels to the major arterial system. There are 824 unique named Priority Two roads totaling 775 miles.

Priority Three Roads are roads that are residential in nature. These roads will be plowed when time, available funds, and equipment permit. There are 1,461 unique named Priority Three roads totaling 325 miles.

The county said it typically deals with about 25 snow events each year.