City of Denver to force property owners to fix sidewalks that are in disrepair

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DENVER -- City of Denver inspectors are about to head out to inspect the condition of sidewalks in all neighborhoods.

Property owners will be responsible for repairing cracked, crumbling and uneven sidewalks adjacent to their properties. Many don't know they're responsible to make those repairs.

As a result, the city is about to get aggressive about enforcement.

"We're systematically going out inspecting, talking to property owners letting them know what their options are for repairs," Denver Public Works spokeswoman Nancy Kuhn said.

For the first time the city is instituting a systematic way to identify and order property owners to fix problem areas next to their property. But there is some flexibility.

"Usually it was go out we need a full replacement. Now what we're doing is we're allowing a couple of other repair options like patching, grinding and another option called mud jacking," Kuhn said.

Public works has divided the city into 11 regions of neighborhoods. Starting next week they will begin inspections for region one which includes Capitol Hill, Congress Park and Cherry Creek.

They'll tackle one region a year until all of the city's sidewalks are up to code.

Sidewalks in disrepair pose a danger to people with mobility issues, the elderly or just someone out walking their dog, especially at night.

"The goal is to have a better network of sidewalks for people that's in better condition to get around," Kuhn said.

The city has set aside $4 million to help homeowners who qualify for repair assistance.

At the same time, the city is rolling out a program to put new sidewalks into areas where there have not been any. There are 350 miles of incomplete sidewalks in Denver and the city will spend $50 million from the recent bond issue voters passed to cover the gaps with new sidewalks.

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