CLEARWATER, Fla. — A major effort is underway in Clearwater to fix hundreds of sidewalk issues to make safety improvements for runners, walkers and bicyclists.
“It’s trip and fall hazards, broken, crushed sidewalk. That’s the majority. Curb that’s broken and shattered,” said Roger Johnson, Engineering Manager for the City of Clearwater.
That’s why the city is working to fix them.
“We’re catching up on a backlog of resident-initiated complaints,” said Johnson.
Those backlogs total more than 365 miles of sidewalk repairs.
“There’s over 300 locations identified and we’re working through, we’ve done nearly 110 of them that don’t involve challenges with trees,” said Johnson.
What’s left is more than 200 more complicated complaints that do involve trees. This is a challenge for crews as they look to save as many trees as possible.
“It’s been a long time coming,” said Johnson.
The city is now focused on this $1.6 million project to improve neighborhoods one sidewalk at a time. Leaders hope this will help people get around the community safer.
“It’s a priority to try and connect point A to point B so that residents can safely walk, ride their bikes, take the children out in their neighborhoods,” said Johnson.
As leaders work through this backlog of complaints, they’re trying to make sure this will be more efficient in the future.
The city is in the process of building a program that collects 3D images of sidewalk surfaces to scan the ground. This database will help staff prioritize which sidewalks to repair and speed up the process.
“That’s the emphasis here is to try and reduce our trip hazards and connect neighborhoods,” said Johnson.
That database should be complete sometime in late 2022.
The sidewalk repair project is set to wrap up this fall.