Property owners are responsible for maintaining sidewalks adjacent to their homes and businesses. If you have sidewalk in need of repair, you may be required to participate in Fairfield's annual sidewalk replacement program. In some cases, it may be appropriate to use cutting technology to repair trip hazards. The City has offered this option to homeowners as part of the Sidewalk Program since 2014. To learn more about this option, see this cutting process informational sheet.
If you have noticed broken, settled, or missing sidewalks around the City which present a tripping hazard to pedestrians, please make note of the location and contact the Construction Services Division at 513-867-4218 or through the online form below.
The City will then contact the property owner about making needed repairs.
The Public Works Department works closely with the property owner to identify potential hazards and schedule the replacement work with a qualified contractor, selected through the city’s bidding process.
The sidewalk inspectors inspect the construction work to ensure a quality finished product. Schedule an inspection online.
For more information about the concrete improvement program, please call the Construction Services Division of the Public Works Department at 513-867-4218.
How the Program Works
Annually, certain areas are scheduled for inspection based upon a rotation such that all areas of the city are inspected once every four years. Inspections are performed by Public Works Department employees, and sidewalk sections in need of replacement are marked with paint and recorded.
Once marked, a notice is sent to the property owner by certified mail advising that replacement is necessary. If replacement has not been made by the deadline date stated in the letter, the City will cause the replacement to be made by its contractor.
Following completion of the work, the owner will be billed by the City's Finance Department. Property owners have 30 days in which to pay the bill for replacement. If you choose not to pay, an assessment will be applied against your tax duplicate and collected as an addition to your property taxes over a five-year period.
A nominal interest charge on any unpaid balance will be added to the amount of assessment when certified to the county auditor for collection with property taxes.
Take Your Pick — the City's Contractor or Yours
Property owners may choose to use the city's contractor; make the necessary replacement themselves; or hire a contractor of their choice.
Despite who performs the replacement, all work must be completed according to the City of Fairfield's standards and requires inspection by the city.
The successful bidder for the city's concrete contract is insured and bonded, and city inspectors will check all work performed by the contractor prior to payment.
For those persons performing or contracting their own work, inspection should be arranged by calling the Construction Service Division at 513-867-4218 at least 24 hours before placement of concrete.
Guidelines for Proper Sidewalk Replacement
A Note of Caution:
One of the problems with sidewalk replacement is spalling. This damage can occur on newly poured sidewalks due to the use of salt.
The City's contractor will spray a curing compound on the walk to help prevent spalling from occurring; however, it is a good idea not to use salt on your new walk for the first year. Sand or cinders can be used, as well as a number of non-salt de-icing products.
Guidelines for Deeming Sidewalks "Unsafe"
The items outlined below are those that help determine whether or not a sidewalk needs replacement:
Benefits of the Program
Fairfield requires developers to provide sidewalks, curbs, paved streets and driveway aprons for the use of pedestrians, as well as the motoring public.
These improvements were constructed to rigid specifications in order to assure a long, useful life. However, the strongest pavement materials wear out in time and need to be replaced. There are three major concerns that necessitate a replacement program.
First, the potential of injury due to falling on uneven or broken sidewalks. Our first concern should be the safety of residents and a sidewalk replacement program addresses this issue.
Second, the national rise in liability lawsuits against property owners. A sidewalk replacement program will significantly reduce the possibility of legal action being taken against residents.
Third, by assuring that sidewalks are replaced when necessary, the City keeps its insurance rates down, resulting in a savings of tax dollars for all citizens.
Sidewalks Ramps ... Who's Responsible?
The City assumes the cost for replacement of areas of sidewalk intersections where the sidewalk extends toward the roadway. These walks are called sidewalk ramps.
Private walks that extend out from the sidewalk (not at corner crossings) are the responsibility of the property owner.