The County conducts routine surveys of concrete facilities in the public right of way and replaces deficient sidewalk, curb, gutter and handicap ramps as necessary. Concrete maintenance in residential areas is performed by the County at no cost to the adjacent property owner. Concrete maintenance in high-density areas is assessed against the adjacent property owners. The designation of high-density areas is made according to the property zoning classification.
The County will replace sections of sidewalk that are displaced by greater than a half-inch, have cracks in excess of a half-inch wide, have severely spalled (deteriorated surface) concrete or otherwise present a tripping hazard. In areas with large, mature trees, roots will oftentimes move the sidewalk and create tripping hazards. In instances where tree roots are affecting the concrete sidewalk, the County will replace the concrete sidewalk with asphalt or provide an asphalt transition. Asphalt is a more flexible material that will “grow” with tree roots, whereas concrete is a brittle material that cracks if displaced and requires frequent replacement.
Curb and Gutter
The County will replace failed sections of concrete curb and gutter. Failure is considered severe delamination or spalling, and settlement or cracking resulting in drainage problems.
Curb Cut Ramps
Curb cut ramps will be replaced by the County when they’ve failed. The new style of handicap ramps include a textured and off-colored pad to assist visually impaired citizens in navigating their surroundings.
Residential Driveway Aprons
A driveway apron is defined as the transitional area between the edge of street pavement and the property owner’s driveway that’s primarily used for vehicular access. Construction and maintenance of driveway aprons on public streets is the responsibility of the property owner who uses the apron. In addition, construction of all aprons for new driveways and relocation or modification of an existing apron is the property owner’s responsibility and the owner must obtain all appropriate right-of-way permits.
Property owners are required to pay for replacement of the apron. They can choose to replace it though a private contractor or they have the County replace the apron. The County will replace existing driveway aprons up to 10 feet in width for $750 (with an additional charge of $75 per foot of width greater than 10 feet). This work can be done as part of routine concrete maintenance or scheduled out of cycle within six to eight weeks, crew availability and weather permitting.
Brick pavers are typically associated with the High-Density Pedestrian Concrete Maintenance Program, which assesses the cost of repairs against adjacent properties. Brick paver maintenance problems should be reported to the County; to schedule repairs, call 703-228-6570 or report a sidewalk problem online.
Streets Without Curbs, Gutters or Sidewalks
The County offer several options for residents to have sidewalks constructed in their neighborhoods. These vary in terms of timing, eligibility and neighborhood participation. There’s no cost for new concrete sidewalk, curb and gutter improvements on any new or existing project not completed. There’s also no cost for replacing existing sidewalks, curbs and gutters, new streetlight installation, or for necessary restoration work within residential districts.
Option 1: Neighborhood Conservation Program
Residents who want concrete curbs, gutters or sidewalks installed on their block are encouraged to work with the Neighborhood Conservation Program, a community-based program for comprehensive block improvements funded by the County Board and administered by the Department of Community Planning, Housing and Development, Neighborhood Services Division. Neighborhood conservation projects can include curbs and gutters, sidewalks, streetlights, or other neighborhood improvements; residents don’t pay for the cost of sidewalk construction. To qualify, a neighborhood must be within an approved neighborhood conservation area and 60 percent of affected property owners must sign a petition requesting the improvement. The entire process usually takes about two to three years.
For more information, contact Tim McIntosh.
Option 2: County-Initiated Sidewalk Construction
This program covers major thoroughfares, and commercial and “collector streets” — main routes that feed into major thoroughfares. There are no petitions required to qualify a project. This process usually takes at least one year to complete. The County also participates in Safe Routes to School, a nationwide program that, among other safety-oriented undertakings, constructs sidewalks along important routes within a quarter mile of a school. No petition is required to qualify a project and it usually takes about one to two years to complete.
County staff is available to explain the various programs to neighbors in a block meeting. For more information, contact Richard Viola and provide the following:
- Daytime phone number
- Description of the limits of the proposed sidewalk area (Example: “4600 block of X Street, from A Street to B Street”).