ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – A problem with Albuquerque sidewalks has residents watching their step.
The issue is buckled sidewalks. Some are barely noticeable while walking over, others peak as high as eight inches.
“I’ve tripped many times on sidewalks like that,” Resident Mya Cepeda said, referring to a buckled median along Wyoming.
KRQE News 13 found at least a dozen on Monday, many along Eubank, Academy and Wyoming.
“Throughout the whole city, they’re everywhere,” Resident Matty Sullivan said.
Others, however, are hidden in neighborhoods.
“If you’re not aware that it’s there, I’d say people should definitely be careful,” Saydee Lindsey said, who works in Albuquerque and often walks around on lunch breaks.
The city is fully aware that this issue exists and they’re working to fix it one buckle at a time.
“Some of the issues could be that the concrete is expanding,” Wilfred Gallegos, Director of Municipal Development, said, “And then sometimes is plain tree roots and so forth that are causing damage.”
Gallegos said it’s more common to see these issues with the sidewalks as the season transitions to warmer weather.
The burden of fixing one of these sidewalks could be on you, if it pops up in front of your home.
“Within residential areas, the sidewalk ordinance typically makes it the responsibility of the homeowner,” Gallegos said.
And it could cost you a pretty penny.
“On the low end, probably you’re looking at maybe $1,000 probably,” he said, “On the high end, it could get up to five or 6,000 [dollars].”
That number depends on the location of the sidewalk, the width of the sidewalk and other factors like irrigation or landscape issues. It could also be an extra charge if a lane of main traffic has to be shut down while it’s fixed.
If you don’t fix it, the city will place a lien on your property.
“For the most part we’ve had really good compliance with people actually fixing the sidewalks,” Gallegos said.
A backlog of other work orders means the sidewalks won’t be fixed overnight and that has residents concerned.
“If someone were to fall, they could get hit by a car, and it’s just not safe,” Sullivan said.
The city encourages you to call 311 if you see an unsafe, buckled sidewalk, and to be as specific as you can about location and why it needs immediate attention.
The city also said if it becomes overwhelmed with work orders, it will call in contractors to help out.