Sidewalks and trip hazards will be repaired for safety throughout the City of Howell.

The Howell City Council recently approved a contract with a company to perform trip hazard removals at a cost of $55 per fix, not to exceed $15,000 for the 2019/2020 fiscal year. In 2011, the City identified an alternate method of addressing trip hazards and started utilizing a highly specialized horizontal saw cutting method to remove trip hazards - which results in reduced liabilities and safer pedestrian infrastructure. It’s described as a quick process with minimal disruption, environmentally friendly and easy to audit.

City Manager Shea Charles tells WHMI the method is a great, cost-effective way to address trip hazards where the sidewalks have moved a little bit and brought them out of compliance. He says the repairs cost a lot less than replacing full sidewalk slabs since they might have to replace two or three slabs at a couple hundred dollars per slab, versus the repairs at $55 per cut. Charles says there is obviously significant savings for the city but also the property owner. He says they’ve been doing this for the last several years and it provides some short term relief. Charles noted eventually it gets to the point where they do have to replace the slab but this buys them some additional life out of the sidewalk until such time.

The typical city program focuses on areas of known hazards that are tracked annually through resident concerns, incidents and staff observations. All of the work will be performed this summer. (JM)