Sidewalks: A Quality of Life Issue
If the sidewalks in Lincoln were set in a straight line, it would stretch more than 1,500 miles from Lincoln to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco! We usually take sidewalks for granted, but they do play an important role in the quality of life we expect in Lincoln. Years of wear can damage sidewalks. For this reason, the Public Works and Utilities Department has implemented a Sidewalk Repair Program.
Construction of New Sidewalks
Property owners or builders are responsible for constructing sidewalk adjacent to properties where sidewalks do not currently exist. In new subdivisions, sidewalks are normally required on both sides of all streets as well as adjacent arterial streets. In older areas of Lincoln, sidewalks may be ordered constructed by the City Council when a sidewalk is identified. If you wish to identify such a location, please contact the Sidewalk Section at 402-441-7541.
Lincoln's Sidewalk Repair Program
The goal of the sidewalk repair program is to make sidewalks safe and accessible for all users. When sidewalks deteriorate, they create hazards for all pedestrians and limit the ability of individuals with physical challenges to reach their destination. The goal of the repair program is to repair sidewalk separations greater than half an inch and comply with the ADA maximum slope criteria.
Who is Responsible for Repairing Sidewalks?
As a result of the November 1990 and May 1992 elections, sidewalk repair along the public street systems is the responsibility of the City of Lincoln. The Public Works and Utilities Department surveys designated areas and hires private contractors to perform needed repairs. The Sidewalk Repair Program is funded through the City's General Fund or Street Construction budgets.
Goals of the Sidewalk Repair Program Efforts
- The primary focus is surveying designated neighborhoods and contracting with private construction firms to complete repairs. With limited funding, the progress through neighborhoods has been limited. The focus of these contracts is to repair sidewalks and construct curb ramps to meet ADA requirements.
- The City also initiates priority repair contracts. The locations included in this contract show significant defects that limit the safe use of the sidewalk. These locations are initially reported to the Sidewalk Office by the citizens of Lincoln.
- The City will initiate curb ramp contracts to construct curb ramps where individuals have reported the need for ramps to use the existing sidewalks. This effort is focused on providing ADA accessible routes.
- The City also offers a limited reimbursement program. Please see the Sidewalk Reimbursement Program section, below, for details.
Sidewalk Reimbursement Program
When funds are available, the City offers a limited sidewalk reimbursement program for property owners who wish to hire a contractor to repair the sidewalk.
About the Program
The City will reimburse up to $3.00 per square foot for mudjacking and $4.00 per square foot for replacement. The steps in the sidewalk reimbursement process are:
- The owner must first contact the Sidewalk Office to have the sections of sidewalk marked that qualify for the program.
- Once the sidewalk is marked, the property owner or contractor will need to obtain a no-fee repair permit. This permit can be obtained over the phone by calling 402-441-7541.
- Once the sidewalk has been torn out and new forms are set, the contractor must call the Sidewalk Office for inspection prior to pouring concrete.
- When the job is done, the contractor will send the property owner a bill. The property owner should pay the contractor directly and submit a copy of the bill to the Sidewalk Office. The property owner will be reimbursed within 6-8 weeks.
Please Note: Once the sidewalk has been marked and approved for reimbursement, the property owner will have 60 days to complete the work and submit the invoice to the Sidewalk Office. If the invoice has not been received after that time, the funds will go back into the reimbursement program for the next eligible location.
Limited funds are currently available on a first come first serve basis. If you are interested in the reimbursement program, please contact the Sidewalk Office at 402-441-7541 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Permits are required for any work performed on sidewalks or drive approaches.
- Residential or commercial repair - no fee
- Residential new construction - $50.00
- Commercial new construction - $125.00
The above permits can be obtained from the Development Services Center of City/County Building at 555 South 10th Street (2nd floor), or the Sidewalk Office at 949 West Bond Street (2nd floor). Curb cut permits may only be obtained from the Development Services Center.
The following are guidelines for constructing sidewalks in the City of Lincoln.
Width: Four feet or same as existing walk
Thickness: Four inches except across driveways (driveways are five inches residential and six inches commercial)
Subgrade: Flat, dry, compacted dirt and sand
Forms: Wooden or steel, straight and true to line and grade, sloping 1/4 inch per foot toward street
Concrete: Minimum strength of 3,000 pounds per square inch for residential, 3,500 pounds per square inch for commercial or multi-family
Placement: Use a shovel to consolidate concrete
Finish: Strike off even; hand float smooth; place joints at distance equal to width; tool joints and outer edges; once surface hardens, broom finish perpendicular to traffic flow
Alignment & Elevations
Sidewalk elevations and setbacks are established by the Public Works and Utilities Department. Contact the Sidewalk Office with any questions at 402-441-7541.
Note: Public Works inspectors must examine forms before concrete is poured. Please call one day in advance to schedule inspection.
Thank you for your cooperation!
Snow & Ice Removal - Sidewalks & Curb Ramps
The Lincoln Municipal Code, Section 14.80, requires adjacent property owners to clear sidewalks of snow and ice accumulations by 9:00 a.m. the morning following the end of each storm. The Sidewalk Section will notify property owners who have not cleaned the sidewalks or ramps according to code requirements. Due to staff limitations, this is primarily enforced on a complaint basis. Report property locations to the Sidewalk Office at 402-441-7541.
For More Information, Contact:
Public Works and Utilities Department
949 West Bond Street, Suite 200
Lincoln, NE 68521
402 / 441-7541
PDF Version of Sidewalk Brochure (170 K)