The Sidewalk Group is part of the Capital Projects Division of Public Works and oversees all curb and sidewalk improvements. These improvements include both small spot repairs and entire block replacements. If you have questions about the following information, please contact the Sidewalk Group at 816-513-4701. If you want to report a problem about a sidewalk, curb or driveway, contact 311.
GO KC Sidewalk Program
In August 2017, City Council approved a new systematic sidewalk program following the April 4th General Obligation Bond approval. The City has created a program to systematically evaluate, repair and replace sidewalks. The goal is to make it through two citywide inspection cycles over the 20 years of the infrastructure bonds program.
Spot Repair Sidewalk Program
Before the passage of the GO Bonds, our spot repair sidewalk program was paid for by assessments on adjoining property owners. To streamline our operation, and in fairness to those who will pay the new tax, the City forgave any outstanding assessments before the April 4th vote. The city’s systematic sidewalk inspection process (outlined below) will begin concurrently with construction of a shovel-ready backlog of spot repairs. Entire blocks will be inspected as backlog spot repairs occur, to ensure neighbors can traverse the entire block after repairs are complete. While crews implement the backlog spot repairs, if a block is identified as needing full sidewalk replacement (not simply a repair), that work will be included in the systematic sidewalk program referenced below. Two contracts for the first round of backlog spot repairs were approved by council in December and can be found here: Sidewalk Spot Repair Contracts. Work on these shovel-ready spot repairs will begin in spring 2018. Two more contracts for additional sidewalk spot repairs will go before council for approval in spring 2018. Public Works confers with the city forester in the Parks and Recreation department to evaluate trees in city right-of-way that interfere with the stability of sidewalks. Foresters determine the health and condition of the tree and mitigation options for the tree and sidewalk are considered before repairs are made. Parks and Recreation has a tree replanting program, and for every one tree removed in the city right of way, two more trees are planted in the city.
New Systematic Sidewalk Inspection Program
The systematic inspection will create priority lists for inspection based on a data-driven points system. These criteria were developed through meetings with Councilman Scott Wagner’s sidewalk working group and other stakeholder groups, and through research of other municipalities that implemented a similar process. The following inspection prioritization plan, assigning points based on proximity to locations and other household factors, was approved by City Council in August 2017.
Systematic Inspection Prioritization Point System
Schools (8 points)
Libraries (8 points)
Community Centers (8 points)
Hospitals and Safety Net Providers (8 points)
Median Household Income (3, 5, 8 points)
Transit Stops (3, 5, 8 points)
Parks (5 points)
Grocery Stores/Markets (5 points)
Arterial Streets (5 points)
Vehicle Access (3, 4, 5 points)
Population Density (1-5 points)
Employment Density (1-3 points)
Transportation Terminals (1 point)
To view a map of this data-driven analysis for sidewalk inspection prioritization, please see below:
New Sidewalks: Connectivity Gaps
If considered a priority area where sidewalks do not currently exist, projects could be funded at 50% with a 50% match from other funds such as: PIAC, adjacent property owners, grants, other government funding districts as approved by council. New sidewalks in newly developed areas will continue to be required under the City’s development code. The new sidewalk program will not impact that requirement.
Workforce Development Opportunities
The City will continue to pursue opportunities through SLBE and is developing a new local workforce apprenticeship program for sidewalk projects.
311 Sidewalk Repair Requests
The new inspection process will streamline identification of needed repairs and take the burden off of property owners. However, citizens can still report repair needs through 311. The requests will be noted by the sidewalk inspection group and it will be included in the City’s systematic citywide inspection process. Thus, a 311 request may not generate an immediate inspection or repair.