At the October 23 Council Work Session, Public Services Director Perry Eisenach provided Council with an option to temporarily fix the worst trip hazards and deteriorating sidewalks throughout the city.
Council has already approved $8 million for sidewalk repairs over the next three years, but that will replace only 13 miles of the 45 miles of sidewalks in poor condition. The cost to replace all bad sidewalks in the city is estimated to cost $20 million, which is not available, so City staff has developed a temporary solution:
If the elevation of a raised sidewalk is two inches or less, the sidewalk section can be grinded down in order to reduce the trip hazard.
If the sidewalk hazard is higher than two inches or the concrete is broken up, asphalt can be used to smooth the surface of the sidewalks in need of repair until they can be replaced with either concrete or brick in the future.
City staff and Council realize this option is not a perfect solution, but it temporarily addresses the poor conditions so the sidewalks are safe for pedestrians. This option is less expensive and much of the work can be completed with existing staff. For example, replacing 60 linear feet of brick sidewalk in very poor condition costs approximately $12,000. Repairing the same section of brick sidewalk with asphalt would cost less than $200.
After further discussion, Council directed staff to return to a future work session and provide examples of painted asphalt so it will blend in with the existing sidewalk.