Local News

Raleigh fixing hundreds of miles of broken sidewalks

Posted January 10, 2013

— The buzzing, grinding sound of machinery is a joyful noise on Donald Ross Drive in Raleigh, where the city has hired a company to repair damage and deterioration to the aging sidewalks.

“People seem to think (the noise) is a good trade-off to get their trip hazards removed from their sidewalks,” said Phillip Hester of Precision Safe Sidewalks, which is making the repairs.

The city has hundreds of miles of sidewalks, and a lot of them are in bad shape. Officials estimate $30 million is needed to fix them all. A 2011 transportation bond provided $4 million to repair the most dangerous problems over the next two years.

Sidewalk damage used to be the responsibility of the property owner. But that changed a few years ago, when the city took over sidewalk repairs.

“Right now, the employees I have are working six days a week,” said Chris McGee, a manager with the city’s Public Works department.

Raleigh fixing hundreds of miles of broken sidewalks Raleigh fixing hundreds of miles of broken sidewalks

McGee said the city is four to six months behind on repairs, and his single sidewalk inspector sometimes gets 50 complaints a day.

“We should get caught up on them eventually, but we're probably looking at three to four years before we really get what I'd say was caught up,” he said.

The city’s first priority is to repair trip hazards. That’s what Hester was doing on Donald Ross Drive, where he was smoothing the concrete with a cutter designed especially for the job.

“People call in to Public Works and say, ‘Thank you for fixing the sidewalks in our area.’” he said.

Residents can report damaged sidewalks to the city online.


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  • IPayYouPay Jan 14, 2013

    That's too bad. Unfortunately, we will still have to dodge those using the street to walk, run, and motorized wheelchairs. Personally, I'm fed up with those not using sidewalks. Should I drive on your sidewalk while those who should use the sidewalks use my street while I'm driving.

  • Pseudonym Jan 11, 2013

    $30 million to repair sidewalks that will never be used. People would rather pay a $350 fee and then $30 per month to a gym that will be out of business in a year than use sidewalks paid for with tax money.

  • Stormy13 Jan 11, 2013

    How about repairing roads, especially the ones downtown! Talk about a roller coaster ride and need tires repaired after one trip! Where are our high taxes going?

  • LocalYokel Jan 11, 2013

    ILoveDowntownRaleigh, Please don't expect cars to stop for you in a crosswalk. As a pedestrian in Raleigh, you will be hit by a car in a crosswalk. The law that vehicles yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk, like other traffic laws, is not enforced by the Raleigh Police Department.

  • LocalYokel Jan 11, 2013

    Our sidewalks need fixed too. WE DON'T HAVE ANY!

  • texasncgirl Jan 11, 2013

    Good to hear. Maybe I won't eat as much concrete when I go running. The sidewalk on Faircloth (behind Meredith College) is the WORST! I busted up both my knees one morning running on that pavement. I don't even run on that sidewalk but in the bike lane. So, if you see me running out on the road, just know it's because I don't care to have grapefruit size lumps on my knees!!!

  • WageSlave Jan 11, 2013

    Great, maybe next they will work on the thousands of miles of Roads that are terrible. I don't mind paying one of the countries highest tax rates on fuel as long as we have decent roads to show for it.

  • Shadow213 Jan 10, 2013

    that's good because i've definitely had my turn of playing human crayon with the sidewalk while running!

  • ILoveDowntownRaleigh Jan 10, 2013

    One (conjunctive) word: CROSSWALKS!

    It is very nice to read about Raleigh fixing broken sidewalks, but what we really need in this town are some CROSSWALKS!!! (e.g. Saunders/401 South, just 2 miles from the NC capital bldg).