Sidewalk Deficiencies Examples
Descriptions & Images of Sidewalk Deficiencies
If your sidewalk, at a crack or joint, has a vertical displacement greater than ½” in height but less than 1 ½”, the available repair options are; Saw Cut high edge, Mud Jack low edge, or Replacement. Section will be marked with White Dot or Line.
If the displacement is greater than 1 ½” but less than 2” the available repair options are; Mud Jack the low edge or Replacement. Section will be marked with White Dot or Line.
If the displacement is greater than 2”: This section will be marked with a Pink Dot and is scheduled for replacement.
Vertical Displacement From Tree Roots
A sidewalk section may become vertically displaced due to a tree root growing under the section. This section will be marked with a Pink Dot. This is typically corrected by removing the sidewalk section and cutting the tree root. This is not a guarantee that tree roots will not displace the sidewalk in years to come. The City does not presently have a method to eliminate tree root displacements short of removing the trees, but the City has a high level of interest in preserving terrace trees. If you intend to cause the replacement of such sections with your own contractor, be sure to contact an Engineering Technician so they can facilitate your coordination with the City Forester.
Heaved or Subsided
Your sidewalk will be marked with a Pink Dot of paint, if it has heaved or subsided more than 4” beyond the average sidewalk grade based upon adjacent sidewalk squares.
If sections have heaved the sections will be marked for replacement even if there is no abrupt vertical displacement at any given sidewalk joint. If the sections have subsided the problem will be corrected by either Mud Jacking or Replacement. If you have a question about the determination of this, please contact an Engineering Technician.
Back Pitched Sidewalk
A sidewalk that has become back pitched means that the section or sections drain toward your property instead of toward the street. This can prevent the flow of water from the sidewalk to the curb and cause water to pond on the sidewalk. Correcting this problem can sometimes be accomplished by Mud Jacking. Before causing any repairs to be conducted, you should contact one of the Engineering Technicians to take a look at your particular sections and see if they are able to be repaired or if the sections must be replaced.
Spalling or Chipping (Minor)
If minor spalling, chipping, pop-outs, small cracks, or other surface deterioration less than 4 square inches are noticed, the section will be marked with a White Dot of paint. Such minor defects do not meet the Standards for Replacement. These sections have been marked to bring to your attention to relatively minor defects that we encourage you to repair and maintain.
A simple and affordable repair for minor surface defects is to level them with a vinyl concrete patch. Do not also use a bonding agent or acrylic fortifier with the vinyl concrete patch. Your local hardware or home improvement store should be able to supply you with the correct product. In most cases by performing maintenance you may extend the life of your sidewalk, saving you money in the long run.
Spalling or Chipping (Major)
If major spalling, chipping, pop-out, cracks, or other surface deteriorations greater than 4 square inches are noticed, the section will marked with a PINK DOT. Due to the size, amount, or combination of deficiencies the section was determined to have deteriorated past the point of repair and needs to be replaced.
Crack in Sidewalk (Narrow)
If your sidewalk section has a crack of 1” or less in width, measured a ½” below the surface, it will be marked with a White Dot of paint. These sections have been marked to bring to your attention to defects that we encourage you to repair and maintain.
A simple and affordable repair for narrow cracks is to fill them with a masonry crack filler (if less than ½” wide) or vinyl concrete patch (up to 1” wide). Your local hardware or home improvement store maybe able to supply you with the correct product.
Before filling a crack with vinyl concrete patch mix, prepare the crack by using a chisel to undercut the edges of the crack making it wider at the base than at the surface, providing a mechanical method of "keying" the patch in place for a more secure and permanent repair. By performing maintenance it is possible to extend the life of your sidewalk, saving you money in the long run.
Crack in Sidewalk (Wide)
If your sidewalk section has a crack of more than 1” in width, measured ½” below the surface, it will be marked with a Pink Dot of paint. These sections have deteriorated beyond the point of repair and needs to be replaced.
Vertical Displacement along a Side Edge
If the driveway or apron adjacent to the sidewalk is vertically displaced more than 1”, causing a potential ankle rolling hazard to pedestrians, the affected sections (sidewalk or apron) will be marked with a Pink Dot of paint. As appropriate for other vertical displacements, you may be able to correct the problem by Mud Jacking or Saw Cutting. Before performing any repairs you should contact one of the Engineering Technicians to take a look at your particular sections and see if they are able to be repaired or if they must be replaced. At no time shall the side edge of the sidewalk be Saw Cut to match a lower displaced object.
Gap at Edge of Sidewalk
In some cases when a driveway was installed, the contractor may have provided a very wide (more than 1”) expansion joint between the sidewalk and driveway or apron. After a number of years the expansion material may have deteriorated leaving a wide, unsafe gap. Rather than replacing the concrete sidewalk or driveway sections, you may fill the void with an asphaltic filler material, concrete, or caulk designed for such an application. If caulk is used, it may be placed over sand fill or a backer rod instead of full depth caulk. If you choose not to fill the gap, the City’s contractor will be directed to replace the sidewalk or driveway apron as is most appropriate.
Obstruction of Sidewalk
Per City Ordinances 8.06(1), Other than as permitted under Section 7.09, Middleton General Ordinances, no person may encroach upon or in any way obstruct or encumber any street, alley, sidewalk, public grounds or land dedicated to public use, or any part thereof, or permit such encroachment or encumbrance to be placed or remain on any public way adjoining the premises of which he or she is the owner or occupant, except as provided in subsection (2) hereof. Specifically, no person may discharge upon any street, alley or sidewalk, or permit to be discharged thereon, any mud, sand, gravel or other material. Sidewalk shall be kept clear for the use of persons on foot, as provided in Wis. Stat. s. 66.0907(1).
20.05(2)Trimming. Trees and shrubs standing on either public or private property and overhanging any public right of way shall be kept trimmed so that the lowest branches provide a clearance of at least fourteen (14) feet above the ground. The City Forester may waive this requirement for newly planted trees if he or she determines that any such tree does not interfere with public travel, obstruct street lighting or endanger public safety. Clearance from sidewalk to tree branches shall be not less than ten (10) feet. Shrubs planted on private property adjacent to sidewalks shall be pruned so as to not encroach upon the walk right of way. Trees shall be trimmed so as to allow the proper diffusion of light from any public lamp.
The City Forestry Department is responsible for trimming limbs of terrace trees. If you see a terrace tree in need of pruning please contact the City Forester, Mark Wegner at 821-8360.
Water On Sidewalk
In some instances the terrace grassy areas over time have filled in and are now higher than the sidewalks, thus causing water to pond. Instead of raising the sidewalk, the adjoining property owner may remove soil in the terrace area, so that it will allow for water to drain off the sidewalk. Please contact the Engineering Technicians prior to commencing this work, since this work is in the Right Of Way a Street Opening Permit is required. (No Permit Cost involved)