Sidewalk Repair and Replacement

The City of Ypsilanti requires the property owner adjacent to a sidewalk to maintain it, so it does not present a trip hazard for pedestrians.   If a trip hazard is determined to be present, the sidewalk flag(s) must be repaired or replaced.  The only acceptable type of repair is grinding.  Mudjacking has a high rate of failure, and will only be permitted once per property.  All sidewalk repairs or replacements require the property owner to apply for  a Right of Way (ROW) permit before work can commence.  

Brick sidewalks in the downtown area are not historic; the brick walkway may be replaced with concrete but the brick outside the walkable path should be maintained.  In parts of the downtown area (Michigan Ave, Huron, Adams, S Washington), a soldier course of the brick is required at the transition If the new concrete sidewalk abuts brick.  Brick sidewalk elsewhere (Washington, Pearl, Depot Town) may also be replaced in concrete but please contact our office for design considerations that may be specific to your location.

All sidewalk repairs or replacements require two inspections.  Contractors are not required to be present at either inspection.  Inspection report will be left at the property if contractor or homeowner/business owner are not present at the time of inspection.   Call (734) 483-1421 at least 24 hours in advance to request the inspection appointments.  We do not offer same day inspections.

Repair Eligibility Conditions: The City will allow repairs to be made by grinding only if they meet the conditions listed below.

  1. The flag(s) must be intact without cracks or broken corners.
  2. If the flag is not adjacent to a driveway, the maximum height difference is 1 inch.
  3. If the flag is adjacent to a driveway or will be driven over, the maximum height difference is ½ inch.
  4. The flag(s) have not been previously ground on the side presenting the trip hazard.

If any of these conditions are not met, the flag(s) are not eligible for repair and must be removed and replaced. Generally, if the cause of the heave or breakage can be determined, we require that the underlying cause be repaired as well.

Repair requirements:   

  1.  Must be ground so that slope of the grind is 5% (or 1/20 slope) to be consistent with ADA guidelines.
  2. Top of ground flag(s) must be even with the adjacent pavement.
  3. Grinding did not result in cracks or broken corners.

 Repair inspections:

  • First inspection:  Inspector will measure the height of the gap and determine if the other conditions listed above have been met and that the flag(s) are eligible for grinding. If not, the flag(s) must be removed and replaced.
  • Final inspection: Inspector will verify the ground sides meet repair requirements.  If not, the flag(s) will need to be removed and replaced.

 Replacement or new sidewalk requirements:

  1.  Underlayment:  Must be a minimum of 4 inches deep.  Can be sand or crushed limestone. Cannot be pea gravel as pea gravel does not compact.
  2. Depth of concrete:  Minimum 4 inches deep for sidewalks;  minimum 6 inches deep for driveway and driveway approaches, as well as sidewalks in line with driveways (that will be driven over).
  3. Expansion boards:  Required between old and new concrete.
  4. Top of new concrete must be level to the top of adjoining existing concrete.
  5.  Cannot have more than 2%  cross-slope.

 Replacement or new sidewalk inspections:

  • First inspection is a pre-pour inspection:   Will be performed once all preparatory work is finished.  Must be done before new concrete is poured.
  •  Second inspection: Will be performed after concrete is poured and construction is finished.