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Sidewalk Repair Program Closed After Nearly 1,800 Applications

 The broken and icy sidewalk at Lamon and Sunnyside avenues.
The broken and icy sidewalk at Lamon and Sunnyside avenues.
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DNAInfo/Heather Cherone

PORTAGE PARK — Fifty-five percent of Chicagoans who applied for the city's shared-cost sidewalk repair program will get their bumpy, broken sidewalks replaced, city officials said.

Homeowners who want to split the bill for repairing crumbling sidewalks with the city had to act fast. City officials began accepting applications at midnight Jan. 1, and closed the program at midnight Jan. 3.

About 1,780 homeowners applied for the program, but only 1,000 of the requests can be covered by the program's $2.5 million budget, said Peter Scales, a spokesman for the Chicago Department of Transportation.

Owners of homes in the middle of the block typically spend $600 to $1,200 for the repair, at a charge of $4 per square foot, which city officials tout as well below what a private contractor would charge. Senior citizens and residents with disabilities get a 50 percent discount, according to city officials.

Last year, about 1,800 people applied for the program and about 1,000 sidewalks were repaired.

The sidewalk to be repaired must be evaluated by CDOT engineers to determine whether it qualifies for the program, officials said.

Included in the program is the main walk, the courtesy walk, which runs perpendicular from the main sidewalk to the curb, and existing catwalks or landing step, which is the small strip of concrete sometimes found adjacent to the curb, according to city officials.

Owners of corner lots will have to pay for both the front and side sidewalk repairs, city officials said.

Sidewalk damage can jeopardize pedestrian safety, and slow repairs from phone calls to the city's nonemergency 311 number can cost the city millions of dollars in judgments.