City of Detroit unveils plan for sidewalks repairs and replacements

Damaged sidewalks in Detroit are hard to miss, sprawled across the city. The good news is, Detroit has secured more money to smooth them out - millions to be exact.

"We got so many vacant lots with so many busted sidewalks for the sake of the children, the seniors, the disabled, to those who say we can’t do anything about it - we’re going to start today," said Mayor Mike Duggan. "We going to expand the Neighborhood Beautification Program."

According to the city, there are more than three million sidewalk squares on residential streets. About 15 percent of those need to be replaced, which is close to half a million - and they aren’t cheap.

During his State of the City Address, Duggan announced the city is adding an additional $20.5 million in funding to their existing sidewalk replacement program for this year.

Typically, the city spends about $4.5 million annually, now having enough funding to replace $70,000 broken slabs citywide.

This comes as good news for businesses owners like Kyle Dupree, co-owner of Sfumato, a small business in downtown.

"As a business that’s directly off the sidewalk and honestly a little harder to see off the sidewalk, having clear and clean sidewalks for us is important especially aesthetically so guests can see us and want to visit our establishment," he said.

But for those living and working in some of these neighborhoods, an accessible sidewalk can make all the difference.

"Small businesses especially in the city being able to apply for this kind of thing, a lot of them don’t get a lot of help. I think this is going to be really helpful for them especially."

As for the application process, schools, churches, businesses, and individuals can apply. Keep in mind, repairs will be prioritized accordingly.

The Department of Public Works assures that construction contracts will be given with enough time for work to be completed.

"I’ve seen many things go up, come down," said Kyle. "And honestly, it’s really beautiful to see the city put more effort into the neighborhood, there’s more sidewalk revitalization over there. New buildings coming up, things for the community. There’s a couple different gardens - community gardens - so I think this is going to be really helpful."

We’re told those contracts are expected to be awarded by April 15th...with construction set to run from early May to mid-November.

For details on the application process to request a repair, GO HERE