One construction project was finished in the last couple of days in our part of town and it seems a little funny how happy that seems to make us.
Without a doubt, it’s a lot more satisfying to drive on a smooth patch of newly laid road than it is to dodge gaping potholes and have to worry about buying new tires again.
Of course, Colorado Springs citizens can give themselves a pat on the back for funding the improvements. Back in November 2015, Springs voters loudly voiced their approval for 2C, a temporary five-year $0.62 sales tax to be devoted exclusively for roadway repairs.
The good news is those repairs are getting done on time and under budget, according to city officials. The 2017 budget for 2C is $49.1 million. The pre-overlay concrete work being done by six local companies is 17.5 percent under budget, according to a recent city press release, while the paving operations entrusted to two local companies are 13.9 percent under budget.
“I think the contractors on the 2C project, even though they’re competitors, have the same goal as the city and the taxpayers and that’s to do as much with the [tax] dollars as we can for the citizens,” said Tara Mahoney, a Springs native who is the principal stockholder in Blue Ridge Construction Inc.
Blue Ridge is one of the six companies doing pre-overlay concrete work for 2C.
Pre-overlay concrete work is expected to be complete by the end of September, and the paving of those 242 lane miles should be complete by late October.
“Maintaining our city’s critical infrastructure continues to be a key priority, and we are making good on our promise to achieve the milestones we initially set when voters approved ballot measure 2C,” said Mayor John Suthers in the press release. “I’d like to commend our street crews, who, despite considerable wet weather, expect to reach the finish line for year two by late October. Roadway work is on-time and under budget, which is good news as any additional funds will be rolled into additional road improvements in future years.”
Paving efforts occur in tandem with continued Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority projects to provide routine preventative maintenance that helps roads achieve their full life span.
Centennial Boulevard, on the city’s northwest side, has been getting a makeover from both 2C and PPRTA.
The 2C portion required some preliminary curb and gutter work — prior to the repaving — as any deficiency in the infrastructure creates risk of water and structural damage, which would significantly lessen the lifespan of any new streets.
Plus, sidewalk work was completed ahead of paving to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, which requires that any time a street is repaired or repaved, ADA accessibility must be brought up to current standards.
All in all, the roadwork has been a minor inconvenience. The payoff is when each project is finished, and it seems like part of our city is brand new.
For more information about 2C projects, go to coloradosprings.gov/2C.
Editor’s note: Read more about 2C in the Sept. 15 edition of the Business Journal.