WILMINGTON — Later this month, about 364 trip hazards in sidewalks throughout Wilmington will be removed and brought into ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliance.
For purposes of this project, a sidewalk trip hazard is defined as an at least ½-inch gap in height between two sections.
The trip hazards will be removed by a contractor using a patented saw-cutting technology, said Wilmington Director of Public Service and Safety Brian A. Shidaker.
“In my words it basically shaves down the trip hazard. No material is added to the sidewalk — it simply removes the hazard,” Shidaker said.
The technique does create a slight slope, but the slope is ADA-compliant. There is a cost savings doing it this way because the sidewalk is not replaced and cement is not used, he said.
Property owners will not be billed for these repairs, nor will there be any assessment to property taxes.
The city surveyed sidewalks and identified the trip hazards. The work is scheduled to begin Monday, Oct. 26.
The focus this fall is on the southeast quadrant of the city.
The project will reduce trip-and-fall liability of pedestrian walkways for the City of Wilmington as such, and also for the individual property owners.
Sidewalk sections that have broken-up concrete are not part of the project. Rather, this program targets sidewalks that are in good enough condition except for a trip hazard of having gaps in the height of adjoining sidewalk sections.
Property owners were given the option to repair the sidewalk themselves using a different method, but they will then be responsible for the cost of repair.
“I think when residents see the final result, they will be very pleased with it,” Shidaker said.
Generally, a trip hazard of this type can be removed in less than 20 minutes, he said.
“We believe this approach to sidewalk repair is an effective and efficient use of City resources,” stated Shidaker in a September letter mailed to the affected residents.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.