2008 Sidewalk Repair Project Commonly Asked Questions From Homeowne rs Concerning Side walk Repair The following information is intended to answer some of the most commonly asked questions regarding sidewalk repair in the City of Pleasant Hill. This information is general in nature and may not apply to your particular situation. Contact Mike Moore, Senior Maintenance Worker, at (925) 671-5244, if you need information that is more specific. 1. Should I have the City do the work or hire my own contractor? The homeowner is free to hire his/her own contractor or have the City use their contractor to do the work. The following are a few advantages of having the City do the work: A probable reduced cost to the homeowner. The homeowner does not need to come into City Hall to obtain an encroachment permit. The City of Pleasant Hill will manage the contractor‟s progress and quality of work. The City will verify that the contractor has the proper insurance, bonds, and licenses before proceeding with the job. The contractor warrants their work for up to a year. A potentially reduced cost of repairs to the sidewalk for the homeowner is likely, because the City is willing to include your sidewalk repairs in a large-scale City-wide project. The contractor is willing to lower the unit cost for materials and labor on larger projects that will generate more overall income to his/her company. If the homeowner decides to have the City-hired contractor do the work, then he/she is no longer responsible for making sure the repairs are done according to City specifications. For example, if you decide to hire your own contractor, and the City inspector is not present to inspect the rebar and base material, just before your contractor pours the concrete, the City will have your contractor remove the sidewalk he has repaired and start over at the homeowner‟s expense. If the City finds that your contractor is performing substandard work or using substandard materials, the job will be closed until he/she can show that City specifications will be met. If this situation continues, you will be asked to hire another contractor, or the City may decide to do the repairs and charge the homeowner. The cost will increase if the City has to „undo‟ any damage your contractor has done before making the needed repairs. 2. How do I find a good contractor? Try the yellow pages or talk to your neighbors and friends who have had similar work done. The contractor is required to have a valid contractor‟s license and a current City of 2008 Sidewalk Repair Project Pleasant Hill business license. Be sure to check references and call the Contractor‟s License Board at (800) 321-2752 or their web site at http://www.cslb.ca.gov/to make sure that the contractor‟s license is in good standing. Call the Finance Department, City of Pleasant Hill-Business License at (925) 671-5234. It is a good idea to get more than one bid on a project, and make sure that all bids are in writing. You should clearly write out the work to be done including all work related to sidewalk repair. For example, removal of tree roots, remova l and disposal of existing sidewalk, placement and compaction of base rock, repair of drainage systems, construction per City standards, etc. The City of Pleasant Hill cannot recommend a particular contractor. 3. If I hire a contractor, what do I do next? Contact the City within two weeks of the date on the notification letter. Come into City Hall and get a no- fee Encroachment Permit. Work must commence within the third week of the date on the notification letter. Notify the City 48 hours in advance of the contractor pouring the concrete for a City inspection. Inspection times are Monday through Thursday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM and Friday from 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Call for a final inspection when your contractor has completed the job. 4. Can I do the work myself? If the homeowner is a licensed contractor with insurance coverage meeting City standards, then he/she can do the work. The homeowner then assumes full responsibility to insure that the City‟s specifications are met. This includes making sure a City inspector is present when the concrete is poured. Be sure to come into City Hall to obtain an Encroachment Permit within two weeks of the date on the notification letter. Work must begin within the third week of the date on the notification letter. 5. If I want the City to do the work, what is the next step? Contact the City within two weeks of the date on the repair notification letter to verify the area of sidewalk to be repaired and the cost of repairs if needed. Make out and send a check to the following address for the cost of repairs within three weeks of the date on the repair notification letter: 2008 Sidewalk Repair Project City of Pleasant Hill, Public Works Department 100 Gregory Lane Pleasant Hill, CA 94523-3323. Please write “Sidewalk Repair” and your Pleasant Hill address on the check. Work for the City project will tentatively begin in September. 6. Will my insurance company cover the cost of repairs? The City recommends that the homeowner look into his/her homeowner‟s insurance policy to determine whether it will cover the expense of repairs. In the past, some homeowners‟ insurance policies have paid for repairs. Be aware of your policy‟s deductible before you make a claim. In special cases, if the costs are a financial burden to the homeowner, the C ity may accept a short-term payment plan until the expense is completely paid. In this case, the homeowner should contact the Engineer, so that an arrangement for payments can be established. 7. If the damage to the sidewalk is due to tree roots, am I still responsible for the sidewalk repair? The City of Pleasant Hill does not own or maintain trees in residential areas. Trees on your property not planted by you were probably planted by the developer who originally built your home, or by a previous owner of your home. As a result, the current homeowner would be responsible for the sidewalk repairs. 8. Where is the damaged sidewalk? The homeowner is responsible for the sidewalk adjacent to his/her property. The sidewalk area to be repaired will be marked with temporary white paint. The area marked to be repaired may be slightly larger than hazard area, sections of concrete are typically removed from score line to score line to reduce the potential damage to adjacent concrete. If you are in doubt regarding the exact location of the damaged sidewalk, contact the City of Pleasant Hill, sidewalk repair program, at 925-671-5291 for additional information. 9. Why do some neighbors have sidewalk and others do not? The older neighborhoods were typically built without sidewalks. Most sidewalks that are present in older neighborhoods were placed after the subdivision was built, and may not have been placed on both sides of the street. Sidewalk is typically included in the newer developments and is critical for the safe passage of pedestrians. 2008 Sidewalk Repair Project 10. How much time do I have to notify the City of my decision to do the work myself, hire my own contractor, or have the City’s contractor do the work? You have two weeks from the date of the notification letter to notify the City of Pleasant Hill of your decision. If you decide to do the work yourself or hire your own contractor, work must begin within three weeks of the date on the notification letter. You must be a licensed contractor in order to do the sidewalk repairs yourself. 11. When do I have to begin construction? If you decide to do the work yourself or hire your own contractor, you must begin work within the third week of the date on the notification letter. 12. What happens if I refuse to repair the sidewalk? The sidewalk fronting your property has already been identified as a tripping hazard, and as such, the homeowner is leaving himself/herself open for a lawsuit if an accident occurs. Be aware, that the Pleasant Hill Municipal Code places third person liability on the property owner. Sidewalk repair must begin within three weeks of the date on the repair notification letter, if you choose to not use the City-hired contractor. If you refuse to repair the damaged sidewalk, the City may undertake the required repairs. You will be billed for all associated construction costs and administrative fees. If unpaid, a lien against the property will be assessed. 13. Must I apply for an encroachment permit? If you plan to do the work or plan to hire your own contractor, then you must apply for an encroachment permit. All construction must be inspected by a City inspector, and be in accordance with the City‟s standard details and specifications. The purpose of this permit is to ensure that no substandard work is done that will cause further problems. The property owner does not need to apply for a permit if he/she plans to have the City‟s contractor do the work. 14. How much does an encroachment permit cost? The standard permit rate for typical sidewalk replacement is $425.00 plus the cost of a City of Pleasant Hill business license, for contractors working within the City. If the property owner complies with the request to have the sidewalk repaired in a timely manner, the entire encroachment permit fee will be waived. To avoid the permit fee, the 2008 Sidewalk Repair Project homeowner must apply at City Hall, Public Works Department, 100 Gregory Lane, Pleasant Hill, for the permit within two weeks of the date on the notification letter. Work must begin within three weeks of the date on the notification letter. 15. What information is required on the encroachment permit? The encroachment permit form must include the property owner‟s contact information, the contractor‟s contact information including contractor‟s license number, company address and phone number, current City of Pleasant Hill business license number and insurance information, a description of the work location and work to be performed. The encroachment permit applicant will be supplied with the City‟s sidewalk construction standards. 16. Why is the area marked to be repaired larger than the damaged area? Sidewalks are divided into sections (also called flags) by grooves in the concrete (score marks). Score marks are constructed into the sidewalk sections as break po ints for stopping the propagation of any crack that forms. Damaged sidewalk is typically repaired by sawcutting at the score mark, jack hammering the complete flag to break up the concrete, and removing the debris by back hoe and shovel. This repair process lessens the potential damage to adjacent flags, and provides a large enough repair area to install the rebar reinforcement. Trying to repair smaller areas of sidewalk than from score mark to score mark increases the possibility of damage to adjacent side walk, requires more manual labor, instead of the use of machinery to do the excavations, and thus increases the cost of repair instead of reducing it. 17. Why is the color of the new concrete different from the existing concrete? The color of concrete depends on the individual components (cement, rock aggregate, sand and additives) and age. New concrete color varies from one concrete mix to another, as the source (quarries) of the components change. Also, as new concrete cures (hardens) and old concrete weathers, it changes color. Thus, trying to match the existing color of old concrete with a new concrete mix is almost impossible. 18. What happens if I cannot afford to pay the whole sidewalk repair cost at one time? In cases of financial hardship, as determined by the City, the City will set up a monthly payment plan for the property owner to pay for the sidewalk repair costs. Contact the City within two weeks of the date on the notification letter, to discuss payment issues, at (925) 671-5264 or come to the Public Works counter at City Hall.
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