Colorado Springs voters passed by 64.72 percent in November 2015, Ballot item 2C which has allowed the City to impose a 0.62 percent sales tax increase beginning January 2016 for a five-year period. 2C has collected approximately $50 million in revenues annually for exclusive use on road improvements within the City of Colorado Springs. On November 5, 2019 voters passed a five year 2C extention (2021-2025) at a reduced tax rate of 0.57 percent (5.7 pennies on a $10 purchase). The new tax rate will start January 1, 2021.
2C revenues complement road maintenance already funded through the Pike Peak Rural Transportation Authority (PPRTA) and the City’s General Fund budget, and provide the additional funding needed to stop the trajectory of deteriorating roads and move the condition of Colorado Springs roads to a better state.
The sales tax revenues are only applied to roads, with approximately 50 percent dedicated to sidewalks, curb and gutter. Replacing or repairing concrete is an essential part of roadway maintenance, which protects streets from deterioration. In addition, these improvements add pedestrian ramps and create passable routes that meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards and enhance accessibility in Colorado Springs.
Interactive Tools Online Help Drivers Navigate Construction
The City of Colorado Springs implemented a data-sharing partnership with Waze
(http://www.waze.com), the free, real-time crowd sourced navigation app. In an effort to equip motorists with tools to navigate roadway construction city leaders proactively looked for ways to share closure, construction and other road information with drivers across the city. Waze, the GoCoSprings App and the Cone Zone map on www.ColoradoSprings.gov are three ways that the City is working to provide drivers with information about location and impact of road construction on their routes and across the city.
What areas of town will you target first?
We have a comprehensive year-by-year plan that outlines roads to be paved in each area of town. This list will change as we coordinate paving with timing of other City projects. To cause the least impact to the traveling public we will pave in all sections of the city as to not cause traffic impacts in one area of town.
How does the city determine which streets will receive improvements and when?
The City uses the nationally recognized “Pavement Quality Index” that evaluates all city streets for quality and assigns it a PQI number that is used to determine when a street needs maintenance or repaving. All paving and maintenance projects are prioritized and timing is coordinated based on the PQI, resources, other planned/current projects and weather.
How does the City of Colorado Springs Public Works Operations & Maintenance Division coordinate their projects to allow the best possible traffic flow?
The City of Colorado Springs Public Works Operations & Maintenance Division has developed a comprehensive street paving program that will facilitate road improvements to occur throughout the city to minimize traffic impacts in one area of town. Additionally, it coordinates all work where overlaps among City Streets projects, capital improvement projects and Colorado Springs Utilities projects. These entities work together to minimize the disruption to users and projects are reviewed to determine whether adjustments are needed to better coordinate the timing of projects. To see what road improvements are taking place along your commute visit www.ColoradoSprings.gov/conezones.
Does the City coordinate road improvement projects with other construction projects to ensure projects completed one year are not redone later a new project is needed?
The Public Works Operations & Maintenance Division is committed to aligning its planning with Planned/Emergent Colorado Springs Utilities projects, City Engineering projects, City Traffic Engineering projects or other identified needs to ensure the work is completed as efficiently as possible. The City’s Public Works Operations & Maintenance Division works in collaboration with Engineering, Traffic and Colorado Springs Utilities to ensure that all efforts and investments take into account the needs and interests of these cooperating entities in working to best serve the residents of Colorado Springs.
What is the process for contracting out road maintenance projects?
The City will issue fair and competitive Requests for Proposals (RFPs) for all 2C work, including pre-overlay concrete, overlay, inspection, and materials testing. All RFPs are posted on the Rocky Mountain E-Purchasing system website, which is open to all interested parties. The City normally allows Offerors 30 days to respond. After proposals are received, the City evaluates each responsive proposal in accordance with the evaluation criteria stipulated in the RFP. These criteria include technical approach, management approach, past performance, price, and other factors. The contractors considered to represent the best value to the City will receive a contract award. For Pre-overlay and overlay, the City will issue multiple awards. As the projects progress under the diligent oversight of City Streets personnel, the most productive and cost effective contractors will continue to receive additional work. Further, all contracts will be established with one base year. Additional option years are awarded at the discretion of the City, depending largely on performance. Scheduling will be established at the direction of the City, in conjunction with contractor and City personnel.
What is the process to ensure the quality of service the City receives from contracted street paving?
A quality product starts with the contractor and ends with the City inspectors. First, the City requires all contractors to complete a Quality Control Plan prior to being awarded any contract. This ensures the City has a working knowledge of the quality control measures taken by the contractor to ensure a quality product. Second, the City utilizes inspectors and material testers to implement a robust quality program. The program includes standardized inspection check sheets and documented third party material testing results to ensure products and workmanship are adhering to the specifications set forth by the contract documents.
Who will make sure the projects we voted for will be completed as promised?
All revenues from the .62% sales tax will be placed in a separate fund to be used solely for road improvement. The City will conduct both internal and external audits to ensure the management of the funds and ensure road maintenance and repair efforts.
Can I see an itemized list of how the money is spent?
Yes. Throughout the five-year life of the .62% road tax, the City will provide the public quarterly updates that outline revenues collected, projects completed and their expenditures, and projects for the upcoming quarter.
Will this money also be used to repair potholes?
The revenues collected through 2C will be used for road improvements such as paving and concrete work. Additionally, the City will continue to use funding from the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Advisory (PPRTA) to conduct routine roadway maintenance, which may include chip seal, crack seal, mill and overlay, and pothole repairs to extend the life of our streets.
Did the City hire additional staff to manage the increased road maintenance efforts that result from 2C?
No additional employees will be hired to support increased paving operations. All paving operations will be contracted out to the private sector through the City’s Procurement Division.
How much money does it cost to pave one lane mile?
It costs approximately $140,000 to pave one lane mile of a city street. Final cost may vary based on the price of labor and materials. The City Public Works Operations & Maintenance Division is responsible for maintaining 5,688 lane miles throughout the city.
Why do cracks seem to form on newer, paved roadways?
When asphalt pavement overlays are placed over jointed and/or severely cracked rigid and/or flexible pavements, the cracks and joints in the existing pavement structure can reflect to the surface over time. Numerous studies have attempted to develop methods and materials to prevent reflective cracks from occurring within the design period. Most of the materials and methods in use today, however, only briefly delay or limit the severity of the reflective cracks. This highlights the importance of preventative maintenance measures, such as crack seal and chip seal, to maintain the integrity of the new roadway at a high level.