The Sidewalk Repair Program application period closed on Friday, April 27th. The City received 366 in total applications. This week the City ran the Sidewalk Repair Program lottery and ranked all 366 applications, and sent an email to all applicants informing them of their priority ranking status and what the next steps are: 1 is the highest priority, 366 is the lowest priority.
The notification also informed applicants that we were able to double the funding for this year’s kick off program. Since the program was delayed from when it was supposed to start (10 months prior), we were able to combine two fiscal years of funding. We also believe that there are a significant number of properties that will not require full removal and replacement, but just sidewalk shaving can fix their displacement. In those cases, the fix will be much cheaper and therefore our funding can go a lot further for the 366 applications. It is still our hope that we can do every property that applied! But we won’t know until inspections are complete.
Public Works will be performing inspections for all applicants of the program starting this week. The inspection will detail what type of repairs are necessary. Once the pre-construction inspection is complete, property owners will receive a copy of the inspection which will detail the necessary sidewalk repair work. The inspection will also estimate the City cost-share and total cost to the property owner.
Conducting and streamlining data for 366 inspections in one month is no easy feat for an already busy Public Works department, but GIS Analyst Zak Baron was up for the challenge. He thought an ESRI product called Survey123 would work as a way for Maintenance staff to do the surveys on their phones, and for the survey data to be instantly digitized and organized.
On Survey123, the custom survey is custom designed on the computer, uploaded to the cloud, and then run on a smart phone or tablet for field work. A few advantages of the program: ‘Skip logic’ (the ability to make questions in the survey appear or not based on answers to previous questions) makes for a very streamlined app for the inspectors, data can be viewed online or exported to Excel for reporting, and pictures can be captured with the app and annotated in the field.
Using the app, one inspector covered 60+ properties in 3 days (shout out to Maintenance Worker Matt Von Bima!)
The data from the inspections will be sent to the homeowner so that they can clearly communicate with the contractor about the work that needs to be done. That way the City, the homeowner, and the contractor will all be on the same page.