Sidewalk Repair Program FAQ

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Sidewalk Repair Program FAQ

The City of Livermore Answers Your Questions About the Sidewalk Repair Program

Sidewalk repair is important to both the appearance and value of property in Livermore, and more importantly, may save a pedestrian from injury. Following are some of the most common questions that are asked about this subject and their answers:

How can I get my sidewalk repaired?

The City of Livermore currently has a Sidewalk Repair Program which provides an opportunity for the City to pay 25% of the total cost of the repair to your sidewalk. Under this program, the City has established a $2,123 ceiling on the amount any one property owner must pay for any sidewalk-related repairs to the frontage of an owner-occupied residential parcel. The City annually retains a qualified contractor through a competitive bidding process to do all the sidewalk repair work within the City. Before any work begins, an estimate is sent to all property owners owning parcels which are on the list to be repaired. All work is coordinated and inspected by the City. Upon completion, a bill for 75% (up to a maximum of $2,004 for eligible parcels) of the repairs is sent to each property owner.

Why doesn't the City pay 100%?

The Streets and Highways Code of the State of California places on each property owner the responsibility for the sidewalk and curb and gutter abutting his or her property. The City is able to offer residents help by paying 25% of the repair cost. By doing this, the City is able to relieve citizens of some of the burden, and is able to repair many more sidewalks each year than it would if the City tried to pay for the entire cost.

How are the repair sites selected?

Repair locations come from several sources including routine inspections by the City, volunteers (property owners who call in and wish to be included) and residents who call in to report an unsafe condition they have observed. Calls are logged in the order they are received. The locations are inspected to see if the damage meets the Sidewalk Repair Criteria (see sketch). If the sidewalk qualifies for the program by meeting one of the criteria, it is marked with orange paint, and a Notice to Repair is sent to the property owner. If after 30 days, the sidewalk has not been repaired, it is prioritized, and placed on a waiting list. As funds become available, the sites are incorporated into the annual contract. Typically, each project is bid at the end of the calendar year and construction begins the following Spring. Once a property is reported and is on the list, the repairs must be made either by the owner or by the City. Sidewalks not repaired in one year will move up on the repair list for upcoming programs.

Can I do the repairs myself?

Yes. A City Encroachment Permit is required and the finished work must be of professional quality and must conform to all applicable City standards. All work must be paid for by the property owner. Property owners may submit an invoice marked “paid” and the finaled encroachment permit to the City for a reimbursement of up to 25% of the amount that the repairs would have cost under the most recent City contract, or the actual cost, whichever is less. Reimbursements will be made when the repairs would have come under the City’s annual project. The $2,123 ceiling does not apply.

Will the City remove a tree that is damaging my sidewalk?

No. Every effort is made to preserve trees. The City will remove only dead or potentially hazardous trees under this program. Tree roots may be the cause of your sidewalk problem, in which case, they will be cut back and a root barrier installed when appropriate. Caution must be used in cutting roots. If the root trimming creates a potentially hazardous tree, the City will require the removal of the tree and will require that a new tree (15 gal. minimum) be planted with a deep tree well and root barrier to help prevent re-occurrence of sidewalk damage. The City will pay 25% of the cost of installation of root barriers and/or removal and replacement of trees if said work is necessary and if the work is performed under the City's sidewalk repair contract. Trees that are not a hazard and are responsible for disrupting sidewalks, curbs and street areas may be removed by the property owner at their own expense upon the issuance of a permit by the City and an agreement by the property owner to place another tree (15 gal. minimum) in a better location on the property. Tree permits may be obtained at no charge from the Maintenance Division, telephone (925) 960-8020.