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2020 Budget lacks funds to rebuild Colorado Centre streets

Of 2,324 lane miles 28% below pavement standards
Posted: 4:39 PM, Nov 25, 2019
Updated: 2020-01-23 14:39:59-05
Colorado Centre Streets Crumbling

EL PASO COUNTY — We are following up on a News5 investigation from this summer that revealed crumbling road conditions in the El Paso County community of Colorado Centre. In response, county leaders agreed that some of the neighborhood's roads needed a full rebuild.

The county's budget process is nearing completion for 2020. News5 met with the public works executive director who says the county's road problems extend well beyond Colorado Centre and the money simply isn't there to rebuild the neighborhood's roads anytime soon.

"Patrick, I would love for the citizens to know that we do understand what their problem is," EL Paso County Public Works Executive Director Scot Cuthbertson told News5.

"I talk to Commissioner Gonzalez about Colorado Centre at least once a month and probably even more frequently than that. It is on his mind every day. I talked to all five commissioners and the county administrator about the challenges we face. Over the summer I took them on a tour of some of the conditions of our roadway and showed them the data from our pavement quality index and we discussed this very challenging problem," said Cuthbertson.

This summer our viewers living in Colorado Center (an El Paso County community just east of Colorado Springs showed us their roads, crumbling and in desperate need of repair.

The problem is, county officials say rebuilding the roads in this one neighborhood will cost $5 to $7 million and a recent study shows roads across the county are below standards. The busiest roads will get the most attention because of safety concerns.

"Of our 2,324 lane miles of road about 28% do not meet current pavement standards. So we have some challenges ahead," said Cuthbertson.

While the residents of Colorado Centre have been proactive and outspoken about their street issues, once again county leaders say in the 2020 budget the money just isn't there.

"Some folks have the perception that the squeaky wheel gets the grease and in some cases for something small that's true, but for some of these more challenging problems I just simply don't have a solution right now," said Cuthbertson.

The Board of El Paso County Commissioners will adopt the 2020 El Paso County budget during the regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, December 10. There is public comment at that that meeting.

In the meantime, public works leaders are asking any road maintenance issues be sent to them through Citizen Connect: https://citizenconnect.elpasoco.com/#/homepage

For a look back at our coverage from this summer: https://www.koaa.com/homepage-showcase/county-leaders-working-on-fix-for-colorado-centre-streets