Charleston doing faster, cheaper fixes on sidewalk woes

Image by Flickr user elycefeliz A rather mild example of sidewalk issues in Charleston.

Charleston sidewalks, they're almost a case study in problems you can have.

The city is old, the ground is often landfill and sinks, many different types of materials (brick, bluestone, concrete ...), many tree roots pushing through, and the ever present need to make old sidewalks more accessible to those with disabilities.

Still the maintenance must go on, lean budgets or not and the City of Charleston today will show off their innovation in fixing with less spending.

For the past two months the city has been using new equipment to repair city sidewalks where one of the most prolific problems is encountered: tree roots.

The equipment lifts a sidewalk panel, allowing the tree roots to be trimmed without demolishing the sidewalk. It's a method that often requires no new concrete to be poured, saving on manpower, fuel costs, concrete materials, and time — cutting costs from some $500 per panel to about $71 per panel. 

The news comes as the city works to make sidewalks more pedestrian friendly, something that started two years ago and more than 31,000 feet of sidewalk has been repaired.

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