Dublin City Council places a high priority on maintenance of the City’s infrastructure and expects a safe sidewalk network throughout the City. Sidewalks provide community-wide safety and connectivity benefits. The City of Dublin is one of the few communities that provide residents with the service of repairing safety issues with sidewalks at no direct charge to the property owners.
In December 2017, Dublin City Council amended Chapter 97 of the Codified Ordinances, clarifying sidewalk maintenance requirements. The code continues to require the abutting property owner to keep the sidewalks free of snow, ice or any nuisance. However, the City is responsible for the repair or replacement of sidewalks, curbs or gutters unless the City Manager determines the owner or occupant of the adjacent property caused the damage to the sidewalk, curbs or gutters. In such cases, the owner or occupant is responsible for sidewalk, curb or gutter repair or replacement.
As part of the 2018-2022 CIP, Council included $250,000 per year for the Sidewalk Maintenance Program. Public Works staff will determine each year what work needs to be done and when based on field condition surveys. Residents may request a service by filling out this online form. Staff will review each request and determine how to proceed with potential repairs. Repairs depend on many factors, such as the severity of the safety hazard, the location of the safety hazard in relation to a public facility, other repair work needed in the area and how the area compares to others in the city. The repairs are prioritized by the City and grouped by severity and amount in a geographic area for efficiency.
Dublin primarily utilizes two methods for sidewalk repairs- shaving and replacement.
Sidewalk shaving is an effective way to remedy trip hazards on sidewalks that are otherwise in good condition. The process takes approximately 30-60 minutes per location. If a sidewalk cannot be shaved without compromising the structural integrity of the walk, the location will be added to the sidewalk replacement evaluation program to be funded in future years.
Sidewalk replacement is a more involved process than sidewalk shaving. It involves the removal and replacement of the existing sidewalk. The replacement process at each location typically takes less than ten days from start to finish.
The City is developing a long-term sidewalk replacement plan that will improve existing sidewalks based on geographical zones. Priority will be assigned according to a number of factors, including the severity of issues and the number of nearby sidewalks in need of repair. The plan will be reevaluated each year.
What are some examples of when the property owner could be responsible for sidewalk repairs?
The City may determine that the property owner is responsible for sidewalk repairs if a root from a tree located on the abutting property (not a City-planted street tree) causes upheaval. Other examples include, but are not limited to, excessive use of snow and ice melting materials and heavy equipment parked on or across the sidewalk causing it to crack.
What happens during the sidewalk shaving process?
The contractor will cut the sidewalk edge with a specialized blade. Even though the saw has a vacuum attachment, the process may create dust in the area. The cutting process takes 30-60 minutes per location.
What happens during the sidewalk replacement process?
During repair operations, you can expect any of the following actions: saw cutting of the existing sidewalk; removal of the existing sidewalk; removal, excavation and pruning of tree roots; tree removal if required (Trees are removed as a last resort. The city Forestry Staff will contact the residents when a tree may need to be removed.); sub-grade preparation and placement of aggregate base; installation of new sidewalk; patching of asphalt drives behind walk as needed; topsoil and grass seed.
How will I be affected during the repair process?
During the sidewalk shaving process, access to your sidewalk, street and sometimes your driveway may be briefly obstructed.
During sidewalk replacement, access to your sidewalk, street and sometimes your driveway may be obstructed during construction hours. It will be a construction site for up to two weeks, but all efforts will be made to minimize inconvenience, noise and dirt.
In both instances, the City does not plan to disturb your private property. However, if any damage does occur to your lawn, it will be repaired. The City appreciates the property owner’s cooperation in watering newly seeded areas. Please notify your lawn services of any newly seeded areas on your property.
What if I have a sprinkler system or underground dog fence by my sidewalk?
The sidewalk shaving process will affect neither your sprinkler system nor dog fence.
For sidewalk replacement, those with a sprinkler system or electric dog fence near the sidewalk should notify the City. You will be notified prior to construction and given contact information for a City engineer or inspector who will be managing the project. Residents will be asked to have sprinkler systems and dog fences marked prior to sidewalk replacement so the contractor can take care to avoid them.
What about other City services during the repair process?
There will be no changes in your emergency services. There will be no changes in your refuse pick-up. All lawn waste, garbage and recyclable collection will continue according to their normal pick-up schedules.
What if I would like the sidewalk replaced sooner than the City plans to repair it?
If a property owner is concerned about the condition of their sidewalk, they may arrange to have the sidewalk repaired on their own. A right of way permit is required for this work. The right of way permit may be obtained from the Division of Engineering at 614.410.4740 or by visiting this website http://dublinohiousa.gov/engineering/engineering-permits-drawings-and-policies/