Grosse Pointe Park to roll out new sidewalk replacement program this summer

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published May 21, 2024

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GROSSE POINTE PARK — As the weather warms up and people spend more time outdoors, sidewalk problems start to take center stage.

Whether it’s walkers, parents pushing strollers or young children on tricycles or bicycles, uneven, broken and cracked sidewalks can lead to stumbles or falls which can, in turn, lead to injury. Grosse Pointe Park’s Department of Public Works hopes to address this issue by restoring an annual sidewalk maintenance program.

“What we’re trying to accomplish is to establish a work maintenance schedule,” DPW Director Tom Jenny said at a May 13 Park City Council meeting.

He said the Park hasn’t had a sidewalk program in roughly a decade. Jenny said their program will mirror what Grosse Pointe Woods has been doing for years and will emphasize eliminating trip hazards.

“It’s something to get walkability back in the city,” said Jenny, noting that the program will also help to protect plow trucks from damage. “It just would make it much safer.”

The city is being divided into five districts, with each district being tackled once every five years. For the 2024 to 2025 fiscal year, District 1 will be the focus; it covers properties south of Jefferson Avenue from Bedford Road to Lake Court South and north of Jefferson from Yorkshire to Cadieux roads.

Sidewalk slabs will be marked for replacement if they exhibit at least one of several concerning defects, including having cross slopes greater than 2%, exhibiting cracks larger than 3/8 of an inch in width, having spalling or scaling where more than 75% of the surface is deteriorated and having holes larger than 2 inches and/or deeper than a quarter of an inch. If these defects are caused by city-owned trees or utilities, the city will cover the cost of slab replacement. Otherwise, that cost will fall to the homeowner.

The council unanimously approved a low bid from Roseville-based Luigi Ferdinandi and Son Cement Co. for $145,368. The bid is an estimate; the final cost will be based on the number of sidewalk slabs in District 1 that need to be replaced. Jenny said the city has set aside $170,000 in the budget for this program.

“We got a very favorable bid,” Jenny said.

Mayor Michele Hodges said this is an issue that residents have been asking about.

“This is clearly something that we hear a lot about,” Hodges said.

She added that making these repairs protects the city from legal liability.

“It’s a great program,” City Councilman Martin McMillan said. “I’m glad we’re bringing it back. It’s needed. There are so many trip hazards.”

Homeowners who’d like to have additional slabs replaced for aesthetic or other reasons can take advantage of the bid price, which is approximately $250 per sidewalk slab/flag. Jenny said a slab is typically about $600.

“The $250 (price) is a great deal,” McMillan said.

Homeowners can also hire their own contractor to replace the slab or slabs marked by the city but will need to do so within 20 days of being notified about the need to replace their sidewalks.

Jenny said the work will be done between the start of the new fiscal year on July 1 and the beginning of the school year after Labor Day. Once the contractor starts, Jenny said, the city has been told the contractor should be able to complete District 1 in about two weeks if the weather cooperates.