While sidewalks, curb ramps and other similar concrete areas near your home or commercial building play a role in your property’s aesthetics and curb appeal, they’re also important areas for public transportation and safety. This area is of particular importance to those who are disabled or struggle with movement-related issues, a group of people protected by what’s known as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) – an act that includes guidelines for sidewalk construction and safety.
At Lift-Up Concrete, we can help you with concrete raising or leveling for residential and commercial buildings to help ensure they’re fully compliant with all ADA regulations. Let’s go over a few of the important areas you need to consider here.
Sidewalk Width and Slope
Primarily with those who have to move around in wheelchairs in mind, ADA compliance requires a specific width minimum of 36 inches for all sidewalks. Sidewalks are allowed to be wider than this, of course, but they cannot be thinner.
In cases where sidewalks are under five feet (60 inches) wide, ADA rules also require the creation of passing spaces every 200 feet. Passing spaces could refer to driveways or any other wider sections, and they have to be at least 60 inches all the way around.
ADA rules also require that various tripping hazards be managed and eliminated. And while these may refer to items like child toys or gardening tools in a residential setting, the most common form of tripping hazard under ADA guidelines is actually broken or lifted concrete areas.
These are commonly found at joints or cracks – any vertical lift or change of greater than a quarter-inch at any joint or crack qualifies as a hazard under ADA rules, and you could be legally liable if someone with a disability is injured as a result of this hazard. Luckily, our concrete leveling services can easily correct these concerns.
Texture is another important consideration, namely slip-resistant qualities that allow disabled people to walk safely on the sidewalk. Once again, there should be no cracks or unevenness in the concrete, which should be stable and properly finished.
Curb Ramp Considerations
One section of ADA regulations not to overlook is the one on curb ramps, which are required anytime a sidewalk reaches a curb space for an intersection. Curb ramps are especially vital for blind people, who cannot see traffic and must rely on these kinds of physical aides.
Per ADA rules, all curb ramps must be at least 36 inches wide, just like sidewalks. In addition, they must have a slope with a ratio of no greater than 1:12, plus a warming device with a raised dome surface and a color that properly contrasts.
For more on sidewalks and curb ramps, or to learn about any of our concrete raising or leveling services, speak to the pros at Lift-Up Concrete today.