• City to pay $1.5M to have company survey, fix Orlando sidewalks


    ORLANDO, Fla. - The city of Orlando is planning to spend more than $1.5 million to have a company walk around and survey every inch of the 800 miles of sidewalk in the city.

    Channel 9's Racquel Asa asked the city why it's paying the company hundreds of thousands of dollars a year if it already has a system that allows residents to tell the city where the problems are.

    The company the city hired for more than $560,000 a year will be responsible for finding issues where the concrete is raised more than a quarter of an inch.

    Orlando resident Meredith Edwards said she notices quite a few issues on her walks but said there are often times she doesn’t see them.

    "Yeah, I trip over them all the time," she laughed.

    The city already has a form online for residents to self-report sidewalk problems and a division of employees dedicated to fixing the issues, so Asa wondered why the city would need to hire a company for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    A spokesperson told Channel 9 those employees are responsible for making immediate repairs and it wouldn't be efficient to have employees walk every inch of sidewalk if there are other needs to be met.

    Hiring a company to find and document cracks is more cost-efficient than having a city employee do the job, the spokesperson said.

    Edwards still thinks the city could have saved some money having the company repair existing problems instead of having them identify problems that residents could have brought to the city's attention.

    "The brick roads are really bad in some areas so I'd rather have them fix that," said Edwards.

    The city said it will likely take three years to walk and survey all of the sidewalks in the city. Anything that can't be fixed by the company will be fixed by city workers.

    The contractor is expected to start surveying the sidewalks in September.

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