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Residents of Colorado Centre in El Paso County believe recent water main breaks caused by poor street conditions

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. (KRDO) -- Neighbors in this small community south of the Colorado Springs Airport say that their streets are in such poor condition that you can actually see them sink from the weight of trash trucks and other heavy vehicles.

One resident, Jack Wilner, said that such sinking caused two recent water main breaks when sections of streets actually collapsed under the weight of neighborhood traffic.

"The roadways have not been done -- surfaced, maintained -- for the 30 years I've been here," he explained. "All they (county) do is band-aid fixes. They come out here and chip seal. They don't even chip seal, they fill cracks. They'll fill potholes if you put in a pothole order. Over the past 5 to 7 years, it's gone well beyond potholes. Now, the roads are literally imploding."

The Colorado Centre Metropolitan District, established in 1984, provides water, wastewater, street lighting and other services but has no maintenance responsibility -- that's the county's job.

On Monday, the district confirmed that valves for water mains were broken at two locations, and that repair work continued Tuesday.

The district disagrees with neighbors' assertion that streets have been crumbling for 30 years, saying that conditions have worsened the past 10 to 15 years.

El Paso County Engineer Josh Palmer released the following statement Monday:

"The County is currently working through design that will significantly improve drainage and roadway conditions. Design and construction of this project is funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and construction is expected to start late 2024/early 2025. The County is not aware of any historical roadway deficiencies that would impact underground utilities, nor has preliminary design analysis identified any."

Wilner said that he will attend a Metro District meeting Tuesday night and try to learn more details about the county's plan, but he seemed skeptical.

"We don't need more drainage," he said. "We need the streets rebuilt."

According to Wilner, Colorado Centre gets power from Mountain View Electric, and natural gas from Colorado Springs Utilities; he said he hopes that the community will eventually be annexed by Colorado Springs.

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Scott Harrison

Scott is a reporter for KRDO. Learn more about Scott here.


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