PORTAGE PARK — Chicagoans fed up with tripping over bumpy, broken sidewalks have a chance to split the tab with the city — if they are quick enough.
The city's Shared Cost Sidewalk Program will begin accepting applications at midnight Jan. 13, and city officials said homeowners who want to split the bill for repairing crumbling sidewalks with the city should act fast, since participants will be selected on a first-come, first-served basis.
Residents can apply online or by calling 311.
Heather Cherone says it's a chance to move up to the front of the line:
In recent years, the city began accepting applications at midnight Jan. 1 — forcing New Year's revelers to cut the party short and drawing the ire of those who wanted to continue the party after the ball drop. The date was changed in response to those complaints, officials said.
Owners of midblock homes typically wind up spending $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 the disabled receive a 50 percent discount, according to city officials.
The sidewalk to be repaired must be evaluated by engineers from the Chicago Department of Transportation to determine whether it qualifies, 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 steps, 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.
Last year, 55 percent of applications were filled before the city's $2.5 million budget was exhausted, officials said.
City officials tout the program as a way to fix sidewalk damage that can jeopardize pedestrian safety and cost the city millions of dollars in judgments.
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