City municipalities have had their hands full lately, many governing bodies are catching up with their pandemic to-do lists and others are still trying to figure out how best to adapt. Amid the whirlwind of issues, the everyday city challenges remain prevalent. We’re talking about challenges like parks and recreation planning or administrative workflows. And then, of course, there’s the matter of public safety and compliance.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects disabled persons in all areas of their public life and even in some private spaces. Among the measures the ADA takes is the regulation of sidewalk leveling for public use. To prevent sidewalk trip hazards, municipalities should have ADA guidelines implemented for best safety practices.

Runyon Surface Prep provides concrete surface equipment for the repair and installation of concrete surfaces like pathways and sidewalks. In this post, we’ll cover ADA sidewalk trip prevention as well as tips on trip hazard removal. Read on to learn more.

What the ADA Says About Your City’s Sidewalk Levels

According to the ADA’s Public Right of Way accessibility guidelines, public walkways like sidewalks must be firm, stable, and slip-resistant. Adjacent sidewalk slabs must lie—for the most part—continuous with each other with little surface warping.

The federal government requires that city municipalities repair sidewalk discontinuity if that discontinuity exceeds one-half inch (vertically). Discontinuities between one-quarter and one-half inch must be beveled at 1:2 minimum. 

Why Should We Be ADA Compliant?

Discontinuities in sidewalks present a serious hazard to disabled persons and nondisabled persons alike. ADA compliance is vital for public flourishing of all people groups, especially disabled persons. 

For this reason, you can actually obtain tax credits and deductions for your compliance with ADA regulations. Of course, there’s also protection from lawsuits to consider. So, do what you can to keep your people safe.

How to Fix a Sidewalk Trip Hazard

There are a few different ways that municipalities may repair sidewalks for public safety and compliance. Maintenance measures for repair can include one or more of the following:

  • Pavement patching
  • Thin surface overlays (nonstructural)
  •  Wedging
  • Grinding
  • Horizontal cutting

Your sidewalk trip hazard may require a complete sidewalk replacement for repair. This is typically quite labor-intensive, involving a full removal of the pavement followed by reinstallation with new material.

Another option is to grind away the unlevel surface with a concrete floor grinder. Grinders are a great option for lesser trip hazards, generally those with less than 1/8 inch of discontinuity. That said, odds are your sidewalk that’s in need of repairs will require a little more abrasion. For that, you’ll want a concrete scarifier.

Concrete Scarifiers for Repairing Sidewalks

Runyon Surface Prep suggests the use of Von Arx brand scarifiers for concrete sidewalk leveling. Scarifiers use a rotating drum with carbide cutter tools that flair against the concrete as the operator works to level the surface. 

These machines are typically more aggressive, leaving a rougher finish than that of grinders. But they provide a quick fix for anyone looking for an efficient, compliant safety solution. And by quick, we mean quick. You could be done with a single repair in only minutes.

Runyon carries a wide range of scarifiers for concrete surface work. Our units are gas-powered with self-propulsion options and a concrete removal width of 4” to 12.” Odds are we have a machine that matches your budget.

Solutions for Your Concrete Repair & Installation Needs

At Runyon, we aim to be your one-stop-shop for concrete surface preparation. From contractors to big businesses and rental fleets, we build relationships with partners at every level of productivity. Small parts, accessories, or heavy-duty grinding equipment – whatever your need, we’ve got you covered.

Our Von Arx and Runyon brand equipment can also be shipped locally or internationally. Call us or use the online form to get in touch.