Roadworks are everywhere. Why all the potholes?


It’s a burning question: 2C passed, so why do we still have potholes?

The city of Colorado Springs offered an answer on its web site Dec. 2. The pothole-producing culprit? It’s the weather.

Some background: In 2015, Springs residents voted in favor of a sales tax hike for road improvements, and 2C-funded roadworks have been part of the landscape ever since.

“There’s no question 2C paving has improved the condition of roads citywide, paving nearly 850 lane miles of roadway since 2016. Even with these historic improvements, potholes will continue to be a reality in our climate,” the city’s explanation reads.

“Like many parts of the country, the Pikes Peak Region experiences ‘freeze-thaw cycles’ and drastic temperature swings on a near daily basis during the winter, and a good portion of fall and spring. All that expanding and contracting of liquid (from rain or snow) in the pavement, combined with the weight and stress of traffic on the roadway, forms potholes.”

The good news: Very few new potholes have appeared on 2C-paved streets.

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“Actually, close to zero,” the web site states. “And, on streets yet to be paved by 2C, crews are making a lot of progress addressing potholes with a variety of tools and techniques.”

In 2019 alone, maintenance and operations staff have filled more than 98,500 potholes. That’s a city record, and a side benefit of 2C, according to the city.

“While 2C funds don’t directly address filling potholes, having dedicated funding for paving frees up funding for other types of preventive roadway maintenance, like filling potholes on streets yet to be repaved.”

While filling potholes is a temporary fix used to make roads suitable for travel and safe for residents, addressing nearly 100,000 potholes this year combined with historic repaving efforts is providing a safer, smoother drive citywide.

The city is asking anyone who sees potholes to report them via the GoCOS! app.

Report potholes or other street maintenance needs by downloading the GoCOS! app on iPhone or Android, visiting the city’s website, or calling 719-385-ROAD.