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Council Approves Budget, Higher Sidewalk Repair Cost

Business district, southeast side in line for repairs.

Intern miscounts of defective sidewalks meant a higher-than-expected price tag for the city's sidewalk repair program, officials said during Monday night's City Council meeting.

Aldermen approved a plan to spend roughly $323,000 to replace highly defective sidewalks and so-called "kicker" slabs - sidewalk portions that split at joints, creating a tripping hazard.

Assistant City Manager Michael Dzugan told the council that interns from the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning evaluated the southeast pilot area for faulty sidewalks during the summer of 2011.

Those findings led to a project estimate of $230,000. City workers later did their own assessment to find nearly twice as many highly defective squares. The total of 2,932 squares in need of repair - compared to the 1,985 reported by the interns - raised the project estimate to $330,000, according to a memo from Dzugan.

"The bottom line is the interns undercounted the repair effort," Dzugan said.

Alderman approved a plan to repair the most defective sidewalks in the evaluated areas, while also fixing "kickers" where the separation is between one and two inches.

The actual replacement now sits at $300,550, with another $19,400 going to project management and $2,500 for "miscellaneous cost," Dzugan's memo stated.

Repairs needed in the Central Business District will be completed in the next month using money from the 2011-12 budget. The southeast side portion of the repairs will be funded as part of the $89.1 million 2012-13 budget approved Monday night.

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