By Michael P. Walsh
Special to the Voice
The Department of Public Works is already setting its sights on spring and continuing its successful sidewalk repair and replacement program.
City sidewalk inspector Ernie Chiarelli recently announced that 395 addresses were reported and inspected last year. Of the addresses, 254 sidewalks were replaced and 295 trip hazards were removed by a shaving process to meet guidelines under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act for a total of 549 sidewalk hazards corrected, Chiarelli said.
The 2018 sidewalk list has been completed, Chiarelli said, except for seven addresses. The remaining addresses were reported too late in the season to finish because of falling temperatures, he said, adding that the city will repair the rest this year.
“We are looking forward to spring and the continuation of this program to help make West Haven a better and safer place to live,” Chiarelli said.
The Public Works Department is able to repair sidewalks damaged by city trees because of funding found in a state grant that Chiarelli said was left behind in past budgets. The city can use the grant money only for sidewalk repair and replacement, he said.
City trees are defined as those located between the sidewalk and street curb. Otherwise, it is the homeowner’s responsibility to repair the sidewalk fronting their property, according to Article 1, Section 1 of the “Streets and Sidewalks” ordinance under Chapter 206 of the West Haven Code.
Chiarelli said that anyone who has a sidewalk in need of repair due to a city tree can call 203-937-3585 or email the Department of Public Works at firstname.lastname@example.org. Those who called in their sidewalk before 2018 should call again to ensure that they are on the 2019 list, he said.
PHOTO CAPTION — An excavation crew from the city’s sidewalk contractor, Elm City Materials Inc. of Spring Street, repairs a section of sidewalk on Savin Avenue near Brown Street on Aug. 23. (City Photo/Michael P. Walsh, File)