Fort Collins alleys to be regraded this summer

Laura Studley

Fort Collins is regrading a total of 240 alleyways this summer — liter-alley.

The process began in May and is expected to continue until the end of the summer, with a second round of regrading set to begin this fall.


A total of 35 blocks will be canvassed and evaluated to determine the safety and general conditions of the city alleys. Residents should expect alleyways to be temporarily obstructed during this process.

“This first round of alley grading will take significantly more time,” wrote David Young, public relations coordinator for the City of Fort Collins, in an email to The Collegian. “The alleys have degraded these past two years, and more work is required to get them back into ‘normal’ condition.”

The alley budget is approximately $125,000, Young said. The City submits a Budgeting For Outcomes request to fund annual maintenance. Because there was no budget assigned to regrading alleys in 2017 or 2018, the City of Fort Collins is primarily focused on getting the alleys back to a safe state. 

If the alley doesn’t meet the City’s standards for safety, construction and maintenance will follow.

“When we have an alley budget, we try to grade alleys twice a year, which means we use a piece of equipment called a road grader to cut into the alley to smooth it and reconstruct it,” Young wrote.

If needed, extra material and water will be added for the roller to give compaction to the new unpaved alley.

These alleys are only graded on whether or not the City deems them safe. There isn’t a specific numeric or lettered grading scale.

The Forestry Division will create an accessible route for the Street Department construction vehicles by pruning shrubs and trees. Due to budget constraints, forestry services aren’t normally utilized in regards to construction. However, the recent alley maintenance has required the Forestry Division’s involvement.

City residents are advised to move any obstructions from the alleyways, including cars, trashcans and garden boxes. It’s also recommended that residents clear the way for City vehicles by pruning their own shrubs and trees.

“Subsequent alley work will go much faster with a quality baseline established,” Young wrote. “After this initial work is completed, we will grade the alleys once in the spring and once in the fall, as long as we have a budget.” 


Laura Studley can be reached at or on Twitter @laurastudley_.