Approaches to Addressing Sidewalk Issues

Gap Closure

The City of Lansing developed a prioritization list for closing gaps in the major street sidewalk network. 
The list is based on the following:

  • Presence or absence of sidewalk
  • Presence or absence of other pedestrian facilities on the roadway
  • The projected number of pedestrians the sidewalk will serve
  • The cost of construction
Currently, funding allows the City of Lansing to construct approximately 4,000 feet (3/4 of a mile) of new sidewalk each year. 

Trip Hazard Repairs

Residents can call the Public Service Department at (517) 483-4455 to report an issue with a sidewalk.
An inspector will visit the site and, if appropriate, the City will install an asphalt wedge or overlay to address the issue until a permanent fix can be put in place. The cost for this temporary fix is not charged to the property owner.

Cutting or Grinding

The process of cutting or grinding is used to create a smooth transition at the joint of the sidewalk with the intent of eliminating any potential trip hazards. This technique is only appropriate for addressing tripping hazards where the sidewalk section is otherwise intact (not cracked or broken).


To address entire areas, the City manages one or more sidewalk repair projects each year.  The projects entail the repair of a very poor quality sidewalk in an area, including intersection ramps. Sidewalk replacement costs are generally split in half between the City and the property owner.

Areas that are not assessed to the property owner include:
  • Intersection ramp installation
  • Intersection ramp upgrades and repairs
  • Sidewalk damaged by City trees (those in the public right of way)
The City currently has funding to replace approximately one mile of sidewalk per year.

Owner-Initiated Repair

A new approach the City is investigating is "owner-initiated sidewalk repair."  With this approach, property owners wishing to repair their sidewalk can either individually or as a group approach the City with a request. The benefit of this approach is that property owners can address sidewalk issues in front of their property without having to wait for the City to come into the area with a repair project.

The broadly followed order of events on how to initiate this process is as follows:

  • Step 1: Homeowner contacts City for a condition assessment of his/her sidewalk.
  • Step 2: City develops scope of work and determines homeowner’s share of the work.
  • Step 3: Homeowner solicits a minimum of two bids for the work from qualified contractors (must be licensed, bonded and insured).
  • Step 4: City reviews bids and authorizes homeowner to proceed with construction. The relative cost shares are also established.
  • Step 5: City inspects form-work prior to placing concrete and follows up to document work and confirm proper restoration.
  • Step 6: Costs are allocated based on City/Property Owner share of the work determined in Step 4.

For questions, comments, or to report a sidewalk, please contact the Public Service Department at (517) 483-4455.