The purpose of the Sidewalk Maintenance Program is to prevent and repair unsafe sidewalks in the interest of public safety. If you have any questions about the program, please call the main Town number at 214-521-4161.
Over time concrete sidewalks are damaged from weathering, tree roots, and regular use. The purpose of the Concrete Sidewalk Maintenance Program is to prevent and repair unsafe
sidewalks in a timely manner in the interest of public safety and welfare. Sidewalk Maintenance Program:
1. Sidewalk Maintenance Criteria
Unsafe sidewalks for the Town of Highland Park are defined by the following criteria:
- Vertical separation greater than ½”
- Horizontal separation greater than ½”
- Severely cracked or missing pieces
- Excessive settlement/shifting
- Excessive cross slope
- Excessive running slope
- Poor drainage – sidewalks holding water
- Raised valve stacks/utility boxes
- Conflicts with ADA requirements
- Other defects deemed necessary for repair
2. Responsible Party
Pursuant to Section 3.13.048 of the Code of Ordinances, the abutting property owners are currently responsible for repairing the sidewalk when damage is attributable to actions of the abutting property owner (e.g. landscaping, drainage). The goal of this Program is for the Town to take proactive measures to address unsafe sidewalks as a public service. As part of the Program, if the sidewalk damage is unrelated to actions by the abutting property owner, the Town will consider scheduling the section for repairs on a funds and staff available basis. Town staff will investigate sidewalk damage concerns and determine whether the abutting property owner is responsible for damage to the sidewalk. If the damage is determined to be the fault of the abutting property owner, the sidewalk is not eligible for the Program.
If the sidewalk is eligible for the Program, that section will be added to the list for future repair by the Town. If the repairs are due to parkway trees and root pruning is required, the owner will be contacted. In those cases, the roots will be pruned to a depth of 4 inches below the base of the new sidewalk. If the abutting property owner objects to root pruning, the abutting property owner will remain solely responsible for the repairs and will be issued a Notice of Violation. All repairs will meet all requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and the Town’s standards.
The Town’s Concrete Sidewalk Maintenance Program has two inspection components: 1) proactive inspection and 2) reactive inspection. Proactive inspection involves Town staff surveying the Town’s sidewalks as part of the street rehabilitation program. The sidewalks of streets scheduled for rehabilitation will be inspected and repaired as necessary. Reactive inspection involves investigation by Town staff and is done in response to public request. Sidewalks deemed necessary for repair based on public request will be done on a first come, first served basis.
If the damaged sidewalks are due to tree roots, the trees will be evaluated and placed in one of the following categories:
- Tree is healthy, structurally stable and has historical, aesthetic and environmental
- Tree is healthy, structurally stable and has a useful lifespan of more than five years.
- Tree is declining, creating extensive structural damage, and/or is the improper species/size for the site.
- Tree is declining, structurally unsound, and has a high failure potential.
- Tree is dead.
At the discretion of the Town Engineer, an arborist may be retained to evaluate the trees.
After the trees are evaluated and classified, three options will remain for repair of the sidewalk:
- Preserve the tree and minimize the impact on the tree roots.
- Retain the tree by proper root pruning.
- Remove the tree.
If root pruning is required, all exposed roots will be removed to a depth of 4 inches below the base of the new sidewalk. Tree roots will be straight cut and the wounds will be properly treated.
5. Town Standards
Town standards are updated periodically based on new information and technology. The data collected from the Town’s Concrete Sidewalk Maintenance Program provides valuable information regarding maintenance requirements. Based on the data and as appropriate, the Town’s sidewalk standards may be updated.