Cold temperatures delay sidewalk repairs, leave hundreds of openings

Hundreds of openings are left in sidewalks after the cold weather put a temporary hold on completing repairs.

The openings are a part of Madison’s sidewalk repair program that cycles through districts each year to make improvements.

“The general plan for all work that still needs to be done is wait for that weather to rise above 32 (degrees) and once it does,we are ready to work and finish it up for the year,” said Hannah Mohelnitzky, public information officer for the City of Madison Engineering Department.

The City of Madison says the repairs will be put on hold until the temperature rises about 32 degrees because concrete can’t be poured in below freezing temperatures.

“The cement would not join, it would not be as strong and it would not last as long,” Mohelnitzky said.

If the weather remains too cold and unpredictable, contractors will fill the openings with a temporary solution and wait to pour concrete until the spring, according to Mohelnitzky.

The city started to repair sidewalks in west Madison neighborhoods before this snow took everyone by surprise. Residents are concerned these gaps will be here all winter. #News3Now pic.twitter.com/trRd1ZlVXm

— Gabriella Bachara (@GabbyBachara) November 1, 2019

Jenny Murphy, a resident, lives next to a pathway currently torn up for repairs.

“It is a very popular pathway being that the bus stop is across the street over here. So, people come down this walkway and go to the bus stop over there,” Murphy said.

Murphy says the sidewalk did need to be fixed, but she is concerned with the gaps left in place.

“Now that it snowed, I don’t know what we are going to have to deal with. If it doesn’t melt, it can be anything, it can be slips and falls all winter long and people getting injured. I mean, that’s not safe,” Murphy said.

The City of Madison said safety is a priority and work will be completed as soon as weather allows.

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