Pavement Condition

El Paso County’s transportation network consists of more than 2,200 centerline miles of public roadway, ranging from major thoroughfares in urban areas to rural gravel roads and neighborhood streets and cul-de-sacs.

El Paso County Department of Public Works maintains over 1,170 centerline miles of paved roads, which equates to over 2,385 lane miles. 223 of the 1,100 centerline miles are chip sealed. Centerline miles include both sides of the road, whereas lane miles are the individual lanes (2 or 4 lanes depending on the road).

In 2023, a consultant surveyed the roads, and data was collected and analyzed on 2,221 centerline miles of pavement. This includes both paved roadways and gravel roads.

Information gathered included the pavement thicknesses, existing asphalt crack data and the pavement condition index (PCI).

The Pavement Condition Index (PCI) provides a numerical rating for the condition of road segments within the road network, where 0 is the worst possible condition (impassable), and 100 is the best (perfect condition).

The PCI tells public works officials the current condition of a road and the anticipated rate of deterioration of that road over time. The PCI values are used in prioritizing, funding, and executing maintenance and rehabilitation programs.

In order to determine the health or condition of the streets, the Pavement Condition Index (PCI) is used. The PCI is a 0-100 rating scale based on the physical and structural condition of a road:

  • PCI scores of 70 to 100 are considered “satisfactory or good”. These are newly built or resurfaced roads that show little or no distress.
  • PCI scores 50 to 69 are considered “fair” with only slight to moderate distress, requiring primarily preventative maintenance.
  • PCI scores 25 to 49 are considered “poor” and are worn to where restoration may be needed to prevent further deterioration.
  • PCI scores 0 to 24 are considered “serious” and may require full reconstruction.

Road Classifications

Cloverleaf Road PQI 50
Cloverleaf Road has a PQI score of 50.
Sun Hills Drive PQI 65
Sun Hills Drive has a PQI score of 65.
Meridian Road PQI 70
Meridian Road has a PQI score of 70.

The pavement network is composed of different classifications such as arterials, collectors, and residential (local) streets.

Arterials are characterized by higher speeds, more truck, bus, and automobile traffic and typically have four lanes or more.

Collectors function to “collect” traffic from residential streets and funnel them to arterials.

Residential streets (local) are typically two lanes and have much lower speeds and traffic.

Historical Funding

When funding is limited, like in El Paso County, decisions must be made as to which departments get the financial resources.

When the distributed finances reach the Department of Public works, more decisions are made regarding which projects and which roads will receive maintenance or repairs.

The Department of Public Works performs pavement maintenance each year through private contracts and utilization of Department staff.

Funding for pavement maintenance typically comes from a combination of grants and local, state, and federal sources. These funds are used for all road-related expenses, not just pavement maintenance.

Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority (PPRTA)

The Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority (PPRTA) is a collaborative effort among five regional governments, including the cities of Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs, El Paso County, and the towns of Green Mountain Falls and Ramah.

The PPRTA collects a voter-approved 1 percent sales tax to improve and maintain roads and support public transit. The PPRTA allocates 35% of its budget for maintenance and is the county’s primary funding source for pavement maintenance projects.

Projects include various infrastructure maintenance such as asphalt paving, milling and overlay, chip and slurry seal, bridge repair, maintenance of signs, signals, and pavement markings, and concrete work such as replacement curbs, gutters, sidewalks, and pedestrian ramps.

El Paso County spent $3,865,139 for the 2018 PPRTA Asphalt Rehabilitation Program. That amount was used for paving 23.6 centerline miles of roadway.

In addition to paving these roads, they were also patched, striped, shouldered, and thermoplastic street markings were installed. ADA improvements were also completed, and sub-grade repairs were performed as necessary.

Road and Bridge Fund

The Road and Bridge Fund provides for the construction and maintenance of County roads and bridges financed by property taxes, highway user taxes, and other revenues restricted to use on roads and bridges.

In 1992 one tax dollar collected purchased one dollar of construction. Due to inflation, that same dollar will likely purchase less than 20 cents of goods and labor by 2034.

The Road and Bridge Fund allocates funds to construct and maintain roadway-specific projects such as repaving roads, repairing and replacing bridges, snow removal operations, drainage maintenance, replacing culverts, and other infrastructure maintenance projects.

The average Single-Family Residence in El Paso County pays an estimated $7.09 in Road and Bridge taxes.

Click to go to the Assessor’s webpage to see how much you are paying to the El Paso County Road and Bridge fees. (Put your address into the page’s search bar.)