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Wicker Park, Bucktown, West Town

Want The City To Split The Cost Of Your Broken Front Sidewalk Bill? Applications Accepted Jan. 8

The city's popular "Shared Cost Sidewalk Program" is being expanded this year. It fills up fast every year, officials said.

CHICAGO — The city’s popular “Shared Cost Sidewalk Program,” where the city splits the cost of fixing broken sidewalks in front of homes, will begin accepting applications again on Jan. 8.

The city warns that the program fills up quickly each year, so it encourages people to apply early.

If you applied last year and didn’t get picked, you have to apply again.

Chicago is expanding the scope of the project this year, adding an extra $1 million. The program pays for part of the cost of fixing sidewalks, with the property owner picking up the balance.

Some 2,000 people applied last year, but the city only had money for 840. 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.

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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.