Sidewalks adjacent to planned work set out in the Roadway Asset Preservation Plan are currently the City's top priority for the sidewalk preservation program in order to rejuvenate streets as a whole, realizing economies and efficiencies.
Sidewalk preservation treatments in other locations are completed on a priority basis based on whether the damaged panel(s) pose a tripping hazard or make the sidewalk impassable. Residents can report these sidewalk issues by calling 306-975-2476.
A concrete sidewalk can reasonably be expected to remain in good condition for 15 years. Over time, sidewalks are worn down or damaged by vehicles, equipment or tree roots. This wear/damage results in panels cracking or becoming uneven and pieces can start to crumble or chip off causing dips and trip hazards.
The most economical solution is to repair a sidewalk panel, but if distresses or combination of distresses are extreme enough, a panel may require replacement. Less severely damaged sidewalk panels that are between multiple sidewalk panels slated for replacement may be replaced at the same time to reduce costs and maintain safety.
More Information on Sidewalk Repair & Replacement
Each reported location is investigated to identify hazards to sidewalk users. Sidewalk repairs and replacements are rated and then scheduled according to severity. Depending on the condition, the sidewalk will receive one of the following:
- Grinding and patching (crack fill) with a concrete-based material, where possible.
- Used if sidewalk is lifted causing a severe ledge.
- Asphalt patches or full overlay. This process is a quick, cost-effective way to address severe locations. Although the appearance is darker when the work is freshly completed, it will lighten over time.
- Used if grinding or patching will not reasonably repair the defect to remove hazards.
- This process is an effective way of repairing a sidewalk where a tree root is pushing up sidewalk panels. As these roots grow larger and our urban forest grows (which adds immense value to our city) we do not do damage to trees by cutting the roots and promoting decay and endangering the life of the tree.
- Note: Where feasible and if approved by Parks division that it will not compromise the health and longevity of the tree, roots may be cut and panels replaced to remove the ‘ramp’ effect of heaved panels. These ramp effects can prove to be difficult for mobility challenged pedestrians.
- Full replacement of sidewalk panel.
- This is a permanent solution, but may cost twice as much.
- Replacement is only used for severe cracking or crumbling
- Sidewalks that were removed or damaged by a contractor or the City to repair or install underground utilities will be replaced.
- Sidewalks that are currently on a list for future rehabilitation will not be replaced, but will be maintained through grinding, patching or overlays to minimize the hazards until full rehabilitation can occur.
What are the criteria for overlays and/or replacement?
- Severe trip hazards that cannot be repaired with other methods due to severe ledge
- Wide crack with several connecting cracks
- Most of the sidewalk panel has chipped away
- High-severity scaling, the sidewalk is pitted
- Severe curb drop due to the ground settling where a utility cut was repaired.
- Where a tree root is causing a steep slope that would be difficult for a pedestrian with reduced mobility to navigate
- Previous asphalt overlay where the curb is deteriorating
Why does the City sometimes use black asphalt to repair concrete sidewalks and is this just a temporary fix until replacement concrete sidewalk panels are installed?
Black asphalt overlay is the most cost-effective and efficient method for quickly addressing hazardous locations. The primary goal is to reduce the risk of tripping and injuries from severe cracks, dips and exposed tree roots. Asphalt overlay is not replaced unless the condition worsens and the sidewalk then meets the criteria for replacement. Asphalt will last up to 5 years.
Utility Cuts - Sidewalks
A Utility Cut is an excavation required to connect, repair or maintain underground utilities that are often located more than eight feet deep beneath the roadway surface. Utility Cuts have straight edges and can range in size from one foot to more than 10 feet wide, and are gravel filled. These cuts are not potholes and are repaired under a separate program. Roads, sidewalks and landscaping affected by a Utility Cut are filled with gravel until restoration can occur. Utility Cut repairs are scheduled between May and October, weather permitting.
Check the City's Utility Cuts and Repair Schedule for more information about specific Utility Cut locations.
FAQs on Utility Cuts
The sidewalk in front of my house was damaged by a utility cut; how will it be scheduled for repair?
You may check the status of repairs for a utility cut on our Utility Cuts and Repair Schedule interactive map. The map is updated regularly and includes locations scheduled for up to four weeks.
Utility cut repairs are prioritized beginning with the largest impact locations in high-pedestrian areas, with residential cuts to follow.
Residential locations are typically repaired in the order they were excavated, but this can vary slightly based on location and crew availability. If a location requires more time to settle, curbs and/or driveways may not be permanently repaired until the next construction season. Once started, it typically takes three days to perform the work. Sidewalks cannot be poured in the rain, which can delay this final step.
How are driveways and walkways on private property repaired?
City crews will schedule and replace the blocks of concrete that were damaged during the excavation and underground work process. Initially, the area to be replaced is marked with paint.
Notification will be provided to the affected home 3-5 days in advance in the form of note in the mailbox or on the door advising of the date work is to occur. The notice will include instructions to avoid watering any areas adjacent to the affected area. If you intend to take this opportunity to change the type or size of driveway, you will be responsible for the cost of the additional area.
Will the City replace my specialty driveway constructed from paving stones, or stamped/coloured concrete?
For specialty concrete replacement, the homeowner must present three separate quotes for the repair by private contractors. Once the claim is submitted, we will inspect the location and collect “before” pictures as part of the process. The quotes will be reviewed by the City and reimbursement will be paid up to a fixed amount upon approval. Any additional charges or costs associated with an expanded scope of the work will be the responsibility of the home owner.
How long after the concrete is poured can I walk or drive over the sidewalk/driveway?
The first step in the replacement process for concrete is the “break-out”, which is where we remove the section of old concrete. This takes three to five days, weather-depending. Once break-out is complete, the concrete is poured. In order for the concrete to properly cure, please allow 24 hours before walking on the new concrete and seven days before driving on it.