Councilmember Alarcon (center) and Mission Hills NC Governors Jesse Martinez and Brad Klimotivch

The Los Angeles City Councilmember Richard Alarcón today introduced a motion to allocate an additional $500,000 in AB1290 community redevelopment money to sidewalk repairs in the Northeast San Fernando Valley.  The half-million dollars in funding will allow Councilmember Alarcón to expand the “Sidewalk Improvement Project” he started in June, which is already in the process of fixing more than 400 broken sections of sidewalk in Council District Seven.

“This is a great investment for taxpayers in Los Angeles,” said Councilmember Alarcón.  “We are already fixing hundreds of sections of sidewalk that needed ‘minor and moderate’ repairs with the first $500,000 – protecting taxpayers from potential lawsuits against the City by reducing our liability.  Based on this success, I am proud to dedicate even more funding to this project so we can repair some of the most damaged sections of sidewalk in the Northeast Valley.”

On June 27, 2012, the City Council unanimously approved Councilmember Alarcón’s “Emergency Sidewalk Improvement Project,” which is funding sidewalk repairs in communities such as Pacoima, Sylmar, Mission Hills, Lake View Terrace, Shadow Hills and Sunland-Tujunga.  The project began work in July and is being managed by the Department of Public Works’ Bureau of Street Services.   By ensuring the work is done by City employees, Councilmember Alarcón is saving the City time and money by avoiding a long outside contractor bidding process.

For the first phase of the project, Street Services staff identified and is currently in the process of fixing more than 300 sections of sidewalk where minor “grinding” repairs were needed, as well as more than 100 sections of sidewalk where “moderate repairs” (where new concrete needed to be poured) are required.  Based on Councilmember Alarcón’s instructions, each Neighborhood Council District within Council District Seven will receive 50 “grinding” repairs and 16-17 “moderate” repairs.  The first phase of repair work is projected to finish by October 1, 2012.

In the next phase of the project (which will be funded by the additional $500,000 allocated by Councilmember Alarcón today), Street Services staff will focus on identifying severely damaged sections of sidewalk that require extensive and more expensive repairs.

“Every section of broken sidewalk that is left unrepaired is not only a safety hazard for people living and working nearby, but it is a possible lawsuit against Los Angeles,” said Councilmember Alarcón.  “Repairing sidewalks improves neighborhoods and protects taxpayers.”

According to the City Attorney’s office, the City of Los Angeles spent $2.4 million last year defending against “trip and fall” lawsuits filed against the City.  Many of these lawsuits involved sections of sidewalk that the City knew to be in “dangerous condition.”