COLORADO SPRINGS — As our area continues to grow--specifically the east side of Colorado Springs, complaints about traffic on one major road only continue to grow louder.
In reaction to past News 5 stories concerning our area’s infrastructure needs, viewers have made it very clear in their comments, they think Marksheffel Road needs to be addressed.
And they aren’t alone.
“Why are we spending so much time and energy and money on this particular stretch, when right across the street at Marksheffel, there’s an incredible amount of time and effort and money needed to be spent to help work on that,” said Colorado Springs City Council Member Bill Murray at a worksession said earlier this month. Murray said that in reaction to plans being presented to widen a portion of Black Forest road.
To understand these people’s frustration, you’ll first need to get to know Marksheffel Road.
It spans the eastern edge of Colorado Springs, running from Fountain all the way up north past Woodmen Road.
It’s a road that was there long before the rapid development that’s reshaping the area arrived.
In 2017, a project widened the parts of Marksheffel closest to Peterson Air Force Base, but still left what might be its busiest stretch--between North Carefree and Dublin--as a narrow, two lane road.
The condition of the pavement long that stretch could best be described as a patchwork quilt.
And when it comes to who oversees the road, that’s a bit of a patchwork quilt too.
“Marksheffel… it jumps in and out of jurisdictions, it goes county-city, county-city,” Colorado Springs Public Works Director Travis Easton said.
He says he has been in talks with the county about improvements.
“At the end of the day, the citizens don’t care if it’s in the city or county,” Easton said. “We need to find a way to work together, to make sure we’re meeting the needs of the citizens.”
And back at that city council work session, the answer to why Black Forest is getting improved before Marksheffel lies partly with the citizens.
“We committed to the voters that the money we received in PPRTA was going to address, among others, this project,” City Councilmember David Geislinger said.
PPRTA 2--a ballot question approved by voters in 2012 provided funding for specifically listed road projects, including Black Forest.
“It’s a voter mandated project,” Geislinger said.
So those allotted funds have to spent on Black Forest and Black Forest only.
With all that in mind, officials say they haven't forgotten about Marksheffel.
“I think we’re diligently working on Marksheffel too,” said Aaron Egbert with Colorado Springs Public works.