grader

Gravel Roads

1,000+ Miles of Gravel Roads

El Paso County has more than 2,000 centerline miles of roads, half of which are gravel roads.

The gravel roads are divided into 23 distinct maintenance areas which are comprised of between 20 to 90 centerline miles of road.

Most gravel roads are maintained on a six to eight week schedule. Section line roads and higher traffic roads get more attention.

El Paso County Department of Public Works has staff assigned to the maintenance areas to conduct resurfacing, ditching, and profiling of gravel roads.

During the spring, summer and fall, the Department of Public Works is busy with traditional upkeep and repairs on the gravel roads including, grading, dust abatement, and graveling.

Most gravel roads have an established center crown with 28 feet of total width, 24 foot road width, and 2 foot shoulders.

Gravel roads track

Graveling

15 Centerline Miles

El Paso County road crews will regravel anywhere from 7 to 15 centerline miles of gravel roads each year. New gravel is trucked in from one of several gravel pits in the region.

County Engineering and Highway staff inspect the road conditions, and develop a list of discrepancies or deficiencies to bring the road within county standards.

Crews prepare subgrade, clean and reshape ditches and cross/driveway culverts as needed, and will add or replace damaged culverts as required.

Grading

17,000 miles Traveled

35,000 Hours of Work

Most gravel roads are graded on a six to eight week schedule. Moving around four mph, the graders go back and forth multiple times to smooth out the surface of 1,000 miles of roads, tallying up more than 17,000 miles traveled and 35,000 hours of work in a year. The goal when working gravel roads is to re-establish a “crown”, or cross slope to the roadway, address drainage issues with the ditches, and to regrade the surface to remove washboards and improve the overall condition.

Gravel roads grader
Gravel roads watering

Dust Abatement

80 Centerline Miles

El Paso County currently applies dust abatement to approximately 80 centerline miles of gravel roads per year.

It takes 5,632 gallons of dust abatement product, and approximately 75,000 gallons of water to prep and apply the dust abatement for one mile of gravel road.

It costs approximately $300,000 just for the dust abatement product to complete the 80 centerline miles we do per year.

The total cost per mile from start to finish is approximately $10,000.

We apply dust control chemical to the gravel roads that see higher traffic volumes.

Gravel roads are prepped for dust abatement by re-profiling all the drainage, setting the road back to correct width, and restablishing a 4% to 6% crown to shed water off the driving surface.

Snow Plowing

El Paso County Department of Public Works strives to provide for the efficient flow of traffic during periods of inclement winter weather. DPW maintains a fleet of snow removal equipment to include trucks with plows and sanders, motor graders, front-end loaders, and snow blowers.

Priorities have been established on roads and streets within the County’s jurisdiction. The main priority is to provide plowed roads to allow emergency vehicles to respond to cases involving human life and safety. Roads are also separated out into Priority 1, 2, and 3 roads based on major arterials, heavy to low use, school routes, firestation locations, emergency responder access, and residential areas.

Gravel roads snow
Grader on County road