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The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has a set of guidelines to ensure that sidewalks are constructed to a set of standards that ensures accessibility for the disabled. If they’re not accessible, sidewalks are one of the most common areas that can pose great challenges and dangers to the blind, to anyone in a wheelchair, or to anyone using crutches if they’re not accessible. Follow these ADA compliance guidelines to ensure the safety of all pedestrians on your sidewalks.
Sidewalks and curb ramps need to be made in compliance with ADA standards. When roads are resurfaced or concrete cracks, it’s important to repair it right away. Here’s how to determine if your sidewalk is up to code.
Sidewalk width requirements are especially important for wheelchair-bound individuals. For ADA compliance, the minimum sidewalk width is 36 inches (3 feet), though sidewalks can be wider.
If sidewalks are less than 60 inches (5 feet) wide, passing spaces must be constructed every 200 feet. These passing spaces (which could be a driveway or wider section of concrete) need to be at least 60 inches on all sides.
The texture of your sidewalk is important to ensure that the disabled can safely walk on the sidewalk. The texture must be firm, stable, and slip-resistant, so there can’t be any cracks or uneven concrete slabs. Make sure your concrete finishing meets these requirements to reduce any trip hazards.
The most common ADA trip hazards occur at broken or lifted sidewalks and driveways, usually at joints or cracks. The ADA defines a trip hazard as any vertical change over 1/4 inch or more at any joint or crack. Sidewalk trip hazards are huge legal liabilities, so it’s best to repair sidewalk cracks immediately.
Slope requirements for sidewalks help ensure safe and easy passage for pedestrians. Sidewalk slopes need to be less than 1:20; otherwise, it’s considered a ramp, which has its own set of ADA guidelines.
Wherever a sidewalk crosses a curb like at street intersections, a curb ramp is required. These are particularly important for the blind when interacting with traffic. Curb ramps must have a slope of less than 1:12 and be at least 36 inches wide. Additionally, ramps need to have a detectable warning device with a raised dome surface and contrasting color.
Has your road been resurfaced? Does your concrete need leveling? Any non-compliant sidewalks or curb ramps need to be upgraded to meet current ADA standards. Mr. Level has experience repairing and leveling concrete sidewalks and curb ramps to meet ADA compliance requirements. By using Mr. Level’s polyurethane foam concrete leveling method to eliminate trip hazards, homeowners and commercial businesses have reduced their legal liability, while using the most efficient and cost-effective method available. Contact Mr. Level for more information on concrete leveling or to get a free quote.