COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - In part two of our three-part series on Colorado Springs roads, we take a look at which roads city crews consider the worst and explain their new way of prioritizing repairs.
Garden of the Gods Road is arguably Colorado Springs most popular tourist attraction, but to get there it's no smooth ride.
"I've had friends come visit there and it took out one of my friends tires twice," said Rebekah Stuart, from Colorado Springs.
Shouldn't' the city's most famous and traveled road be a priority? Instead the road is pothole after pothole. So why hasn't it been fixed?
"Garden of the Gods is another full reconstruct. That get's very expensive you start getting a lot of roadways and miles that need full reconstructed. I don't know that any municipality would have the budget for that," said Corey Farkas, the city streets manager.
The stretch is so bad it would need an entire new road. However, part of it, North Nevada Avenue and Garden of the Gods Road did make this years list of high priority roads to fix. But, it's on a list with hundreds of others.
"Some areas of town might be worse," said Beth Trumble, from Colorado Springs.
Trumble is right, there are far worse roads. She lives on the east side of town, the area crews consider in the worst shape because of aging infrastructure.
"You learn how to skip the ones you know are there, but it doesn't feel good when you actually hit one," she said.
Last year, the city spent $296,150.62 on pothole repairs on the east side. Roads that needed the most work include Peterson Blvd, Union Blvd and S. Carefree.
On the west side, $280,382.84 was spent. Woodmen Road, N. 19th street and N. Weber street topped the list.
The city spent $245,827.25 on the south side last year. South Chelton Road ranked high priority.
And on the north side, $238,736.16 was spent.
So how do crews decide which roads to fix first? They used to follow a list.
"It was prioritized by the order people called them in," Farkas said.
But over the years they found it wasn't productive and changed their ways.
"As people are calling them in we start asking them a few questions, hey is this a safety issue, is it a danger to the travel or public? If the answer is yes, it goes straight to the top of the list," Farkas said.
The fastest way to report a pothole is with the city's app called GoCoSprings. You click new issue, report pothole, snap a photo, and it'll grab the exact location and go straight to city crews priority list.
Otherwise it's a waiting game, and that's been the case for Katie Fernandez.
"The one in the middle of our street has kind of been filled with dirt and some people try to fill it with rocks. We haven't had a lot of fixing or repairs from the city," Fernandez said.
So how did our roads get to this point? When ground water gets into the street, it freezes and expands, forming a pothole. The average life span of a road is 12 years, unless you do preventive maintenance.
"By doing the crack sealing, chip sealing, you can take that 10-13 year road out to a 20-25 year road," Farkas said.
The most effective work actually happens when roads are in good condition. When they're in poor condition, they often need total reconstruction, like Garden of the Gods Road.
8% of Colorado Springs roads fall into that category. 53% of roads fall into the good to fair category.
It's all part of the constant lifecycle of a road crews are working to stay on top of.