Watch out for cone zones!

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Cone zones will be cropping up as early as January after 65 percent of voters in Tuesday's election approved a .62 of 1 percent sales tax hike for five years to fund road repairs.

Mayor John Suthers held court with reporters today to vow transparency and diligence in carrying out what streets operations manager Corey Farkas called an unprecedented municipal overhaul of roads.
Mayor John Suthers talks about getting busy spending the money approved by voters for roads on Tuesday. - PAM ZUBECK
  • Pam Zubeck
  • Mayor John Suthers talks about getting busy spending the money approved by voters for roads on Tuesday.
The tax will pump $250 million into city coffers over five years and allow the city tackle its notoriously bad roads, 60 percent of which Suthers said were in poor condition.

Suthers said he will appoint a five-member oversight committee comprised of City Council members and experts in finance and construction. The panel will meet at least quarterly and report to him and the community. In addition, the Public Works Department will provide periodic reports on how the work is going.

City Engineer Travis Easton said the city is creating a website that will include information on what requests for proposals have been issued, which contracts awarded, projects that are underway and navigational tools for people to avoid road closures or traffic slow downs due to the work.

Farkas said concrete work begins in January, and paving will start in April with warmer weather. Some consideration will be given to well-traveled routes by tourists, he said.
From left, Parks Director Karen Palus, Streets Operations Manager Corey Farkas, City Engineer Travis Easton and Council President Merv Bennett attend a news conference Wednesday. - PAM ZUBECK
  • Pam Zubeck
  • From left, Parks Director Karen Palus, Streets Operations Manager Corey Farkas, City Engineer Travis Easton and Council President Merv Bennett attend a news conference Wednesday.
The city will target arterial and collector roads, so don't look for your residential street to be rebuilt during the five-year program.

"Needless to say," Suthers said, "I think I speak for not only the City Council members ... but I think I speak for the city staff as well, they're extremely grateful that the overwhelming majority of citizens embraced [the measure], because we need to fix the roads in Colorado Springs and reverse the trajectory we've been on for the last several years."

Voters approved by an even larger margin allowing the city to retain $2.1 million in excess revenue under the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights to be used for trails. Parks Director Karen Palus said the first trails to get attention are Shooks Run, Skyline Trail and Sand Creek trail, on which work will begin "immediately."



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