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Want Your Front Sidewalk Fixed? City Adds $1 Million To Expand ‘Shared Cost’ Sidewalk Repair Program

CHICAGO — Tired of that broken patch of sidewalk in front of your home? Want to split the tab with the city?

The City of Chicago said Monday it wants to expand its Shared Cost Sidewalk Program with an extra $1 million in next year’s budget. The program pays for part of the cost of fixing sidewalks, with the property owner picking up the balance.

The program has been extremely popular, with spots filling up within days of the city opening up applications each year. Some 2,000 people applied last year, but the city only had money for 840.

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By adding $1 million — to up the annual budget to $4 million — Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office said it could do an additional 315 sidewalks.

The applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. The cost to a property owner for a mid-block home ranges from $800 to $1,500, the city said.

The city only does the repairs on sidewalks its engineers inspect and determine to be in poor condition. They calculate a cost and send it to the property owner, who then has 45 days to accept. 

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.

Residents can apply online or by calling 311. Senior citizens and the disabled receive a 50 percent discount, according to city officials.

This year’s program is already full. Applications for the 2019 repairs starts on Jan. 8.