In addition to laying down some 44 tons of asphalt in 2022, Arapahoe County’s Road and Bridge team laid down some impressive statistics in a year marked by ongoing staff shortages and budget constraints.
Like many departments across the County, Public Works and Development felt the pinch of a lean labor market. Despite expanded efforts to recruit new staff, many divisions struggled to find qualified applicants. By early summer—the height of roadwork season—the team realigned their goals and applied some new approaches to their work.
“We knew that teamwork would be our most important tool last year,” said Bridge Operations Manager Michael Haraldson. “But we also relied on creativity and goal refinement to maximize our small team to accomplish great things.”
Haraldson is quick to point out the division’s success rode on the shoulders of every team member. “It took every single one of us working together to exceed goals in several areas.”
Here’s what the Road and Bridge team accomplished in 2022:
- The East Patch crew helped with paving operations and assisted with sign maintenance and markings, accomplishing 85 percent of their original goal.
- The East Patch crew placed 1,884 tons of patching material, while the West Patch crew placed 1,192 tons, with only 40 percent of the workforce available.
- Paving operations laid 44,654 tons of asphalt, exceeding the goal of 40,500 tons. Most paving was done in residential neighborhoods, with an average quality score of more than 90 percent.
- The Signs and Markings crew used 8,750 gallons of paint to restripe the entire county and was able to save 250 gallons by using a new paint truck. This crew also installed 2,500 durable markings and 953 street signs, exceeding their goal of 900.
- Fifteen miles of gravel roads were maintained will three blade operators, who scored 87 percent on quality, which hasn’t happened since 2018.
- The Drainage crew completed 20 miles of ditch maintenance along gravel roads with a quality score just above 90 percent.
“High quality goals set an industry standard for the work these crews are responsible for,” said Haraldson. “We are exceptionally proud to meet such high standards given the constraints we faced this year.”