Smoother Sidewalks Create Safer Strolling for Everyone
Uneven sidewalks that pose tripping hazards, your days are numbered. Hillsborough County is tackling lifting sidewalks by awarding more than $1.6 million to contractors so far during 2018 for more than a dozen sidewalk renovation project groups, spread from Lutz to Sun City.
One of those project groups is the Bloomingdale Taxing District Sidewalk Rehabilitation program. Construction to replace damaged sidewalk sections began this summer along Natures Way Boulevard, Springvale Drive, and Greenhollow Lane. Over three years, approximately $800,000 of work is scheduled to address a concentration of lifting sidewalks within the taxing district's subdivisions, roughly located between Pearson and Bryan roads. Once completed, future repairs will be prioritized annually along with needs throughout the county.
The majority of heaving sidewalks are caused by tree roots, especially from maturing oak trees. Sidewalks with minor rises or dips are ground down or have the edges shaved off in order to smooth the elevation differences. Sidewalks with major lifting hazards are scheduled for replacement, which may include pruning tree roots before pouring new concrete sections.
How Sidewalks Get Fixed
- Residents submit service requests or report sidewalk hazards to Hillsborough County.
- A Public Works' inspector visits each of the reported locations to evaluate the conditions and identify additional unreported issues in the same vicinity that should also be addressed, such as other lifted sidewalk sections and the installation or upgrade of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant ramps.
- Repairs are prioritized based on the impact to resident safety, relative location to schools and other high volume facilities, and the number of people affected. Locations affecting persons who are visually impaired or who use a wheelchair are always classified as high priority.
- The project engineer uses a mapping tool to identify clusters of work orders in the same geographic area, focusing on high-priority repairs. If lower priority work orders are close enough to a high-priority cluster, those locations may be added in to a planned project group.
Hillsborough County is currently addressing hundreds of previously unfunded work orders. The backlog of high priority locations is anticipated to be completed by the end of 2018. The County plans to spend more than $3 million annually for the sidewalk repair and improvement program to knock out the balance of backlogged repairs over the next five years.
How to Report Sidewalk Issues
Do you have some sidewalks in your neighborhood that need some attention? Contact Public Works at HCFLGov.net/AtYourService or (813) 635-5400.