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Report says nearly 1/3 of local roads in 'poor' condition, but perspective is important

Leaders say major improvements have been and continue to be made
Study finds nearly 1/3 of local roads in 'poor' condition, but perspective is important
Posted at 4:15 PM, Mar 03, 2021

COLORADO SPRINGS — A recent study found nearly ⅓ of our area's roads are rated in poor condition. But transportation officials say perspective is important.

News 5 previously reported how much the recently released ‘TRIP’ report determined Colorado Springs drivers lose each year by simply sitting in traffic.

But the report--aimed at studying an area's transportation network and how it affects the community around it--found more.

“We also took a look at conditions of major roads across the state,” said Rocky Moretti, TRIP’s Director of Policy & Research. “In the Colorado Springs region, 30 percent of major roads are in poor condition, and another 25 percent are in mediocre condition.”

The report found that those roads--some of which are maintained by the city, others, by the county, or CDOT--are also costing drivers.

“Costing the average Colorado Springs motorist $644 annually,” Moretti said.

That's thanks to the wear and tear those roads bring on our cars.

“That’s one I can personally attest to,” said Rachel Beck, Vice President of Government Affairs for the Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC. “I know on a first name basis the folks at my local tire and alignment shop.”

The City of Colorado Springs maintains roughly 6,000 miles of streets.

“If you stretch that out mile to mile, it would go from Colorado Springs past Rome, Italy,” Colorado Springs Public Works director Travis Easton said.

He says it’s important to keep that ‘30 percent' figure in perspective.

“Before 2C, we didn’t have a whole lot we were putting forward in that maintenance,” Easton said.

Ballot measure 2c, which voters approved in 2015, provided funds to fix things LIKE potholes and cracked pavement. In 2019, voters approved a five year extension.

“2C injects between $50 and $55 million per year,” he said. ‘

He says it brought an immediate difference.

“We tracked a lot of the claims brought to the city by folks who maybe damaged a tire with a pothole and things like that,” Easton said. “By the end of 2018, the number of claims within the city were down by 93 percent.”

The numbers back him up. 2016’s TRIP report rated 37 percent of the area’s roads in poor condition. As already reported, this year that number is down to 30 percent.

“We weren’t able to really to do that before 2C,” he said.

With all that in mind though, there’s still work to do.

“The reality is, the infrastructure in our city took decades to get in the situation that it’s in, the condition that it’s in,” Easton said. “I tell people, it took decades to get there, we’re not gonna get out of it in a few years.”