EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. -

Erosion and a steep dirt road that occasionally washes out has led El Paso County Public Works to upgrade drainage ditches and culverts on the north end of Peyton Highway.

Max Kirschbaum, the department's operations manager, said workers will remove rocks designed to slow downhill runoff, improve drainage channels on both sides of the road and replace the rocks, spacing them out to meet current drainage standards.

Workers also will clear two culverts at the bottom of the hill that are covered in several feet of silt from previous runoff, Kirschbaum said, allowing water to flow into a creek more efficiently.

Kirschbaum said drainage along the road has been a problem since 2000, with rainstorms eroding the ditches and road shoulders, and requiring workers to repeatedly repair the road for driver safety.

"It gets really bad in the winter time when it gets really icy and people can't get up and down this road, and it does wash out every time it rains real hard," said Chip Loomis, a Peyton resident. "So hopefully this is going to help."

Kirschbaum said the county last year finished a similar project on Warrior's Path, a mile east of the current project, and it has held up well.

Kirschbaum said the project is halfway finished and should be completed by the end of summer. Using the county's own materials should keep the project's cost to around $50,000, he said.