Wednesday, March 27, 2024

City Presents Timeline, Cost-Estimate for Green Meadows West Sidewalks

City of Johnston spray-paint indicating tripping hazard

At city hall, more than 50 Green Meadows West and other Johnston residents packed into two informational meetings conducted by the Johnston Public Works Department Tues., Mar. 26, 2024 regarding an 8-year program to ensure neighborhood sidewalks are safe, and accessible to all.

Green Meadows West is only the second Johnston neighborhood to be addressed in Johnston's first-ever city-wide Sidewalk Repair Program. The project's execution began in 2023 in the original Green Meadows neighborhood, which is located between Beaver Creak and Merle Hay Road, and south of N.W. 62nd Avenue. Sidewalk repairs there will be completed in 2024.

In Fall 2023, city inspectors moved on to the Green Meadows West neighborhood, marking with white spray-paint hazards such as:

  • Gaps larger than 1 half-inch between sidewalk panels
  • Tripping hazards, including heaved, raised, or lowered sidewalk panels
  • Deteriorated, crumbling, cracked, or unevenly surfaced panels 

Other neighborhoods will be addressed annually, bringing the city's sidewalks to full compliance after 8 years. "We've had 26 years of nothing happening regarding sidewalk maintenance," said City of Johnston council member and Green Meadows West resident Tom Cope from the audience. "If, after this program, the city can get into a cycle of looking at sidewalks every 8- to 10-years, we can achieve a walkable community." City of Johnston Mayor and Green Meadows West resident Paul Dierenfeld also attended the informational meetings.

City of Johnston Public Works Director Matt Greiner, along with contracted engineer Justin Ernst of Bolton & Menk, Inc. of Des Moines, reminded attendees Tuesday night that installation and maintenance of sidewalks—as part of the "right-of-way" or "parking" from sidewalk to curb—is a homeowner responsibility under Iowa state law.

All Green Meadows West sidewalks have now been marked with white paint. The marks indicate conditions that should be corrected. In April 2024, Green Meadows West homeowners will be mailed letters detailing what corrections are required.

Included with that mailing will be a questionnaire, which can be completed by mail or on-line. The questionnaire will present the following options:

  • DIY repair within 90 days. (City permit required, but right-of-way permit fees will be waived.)
  • Privately contracted repairs within 90 days. (City permit required, but right-of-way permit fees will be waived.)
  • Have city contractors repair the sidewalk at a flat, per-panel rate. (Neighborhood-wide project likely to occur Spring 2025.)

Repairs not made privately by Green Meadows West homeowners by August 2024 will be included in a blanket city contract. Bids on that contract will be solicited in Fall 2024. Repairs under that contract will be made in 2025.

Homeowners opting to repair sidewalks under city contract will be given an option to pay directly, or through special assessment over a period of 5 or 10 years. Homeowners will be invoiced after the city contract is completed, sometime in mid- to late-2025.

Here is the city's 2024-2025 project timeline for Green Meadows West neighborhood sidewalks, as presented at the Tuesday meeting:

  • Public meeting: Mar. 26, 2024
  • Notifications & questionnaires mailed to homeowners: Not later than Apr. 1, 2024
  • Homeowners/Property-owner decisions returned: Not later than May 3, 2024
  • DIY and privately contracted repairs: Not later than Aug. 2, 2024
  • Solicitations of city contract: Fall 2024
  • Repairs made under city contract: Spring-Summer 2025
  • Homeowners/Property-owners invoiced: Fall 2025?

Based on the 2023 Green Meadows original neighborhood bid, presenters Tuesday estimated that participation in the Green Meadows West contract might be a flat-fee of approximately $300 per 4-by-4-foot concrete panel. The city contractors will only replace whole panels; lesser repairs, such as jacking, filling, leveling, or caulking, would need to be completed by homeowners or privately hired contractors before August 2024.

Greiner emphasized that city inspectors are available to meet personally with homeowners on-site—even before hiring contractors—to discuss identified deficiencies and potential repair solutions.

Presenters highlighted a number of how-to sidewalk repair techniques, which are also documented on-line at:

In 2025, city contractors will also ensure that corner "pedestrian ramps" (also called "ped-ramps" and "curb cuts") in the Green Meadows West neighborhood meet requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA.) Homeowners will not be charged for this ADA-related work.

Public works officials reiterated that the Sidewalk Repair Program should not interfere or interact with the city's concurrent efforts to cut down untreated Ash trees in rights-of-way. "Our goal is to not to take any trees with our sidewalk program," Greiner said, echoing the Fall 2023 meetings. "Our contractors will typically only cut the root [of any tree causing a sidewalk to heave or shift]. That doesn't mean, however, that the problem won't grow back in 5 or 10 years."

For more information on the City of Johnston sidewalk repair program, visit:

Review the September 2023 public meeting information packet here:

Or contact:
Matt Greiner, public works director
phone: 515.278.0822

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