SW-76 Sidewalk Repairs 2020


James Steinberger, EI
Phone: 919-560-4326, ext. 30266


This project involves the furnishing of all materials, labor, equipment, tools, etc. unless otherwise specified, for the complete removal and installation of sidewalks and curb ramps at various locations throughout the city.


The following schedule is estimated and may change.

  • Advertisement:  September 4, 2020
  • Pre-Bid Meeting: September 15, 2020 2:00PM via Zoom meeting
  • Bid Opening: October 12, 2020 2:00PM 
  • Notice to Proceed: January 2021
  • Construction Start: April 12, 2021
  • Anticipated Construction Completion: August 2022


All work has been completed. 


Why are these curb ramps so different looking?

This is what curb ramps will begin to look like in the future. The US Access Board has put forth rules on what curb ramps in the public right of way need to look like. It is very different from what you are used to seeing. Much like the ADA rules completely changed what accessibility looks like in building, the PROWAG guidelines are changing what accessibility looks like in the road. PROWAG stands for Public Right of Way Accessibility Guidelines.

The main change is that there has to be a level pad. And by level, they mean completely level. A wheelchair can stop on the level pad and not roll at all. It is a safe refuge. From the level pad, the wheelchair bound person can survey the situation and decide when to cross. On the other side of the street is another ramp that leads to a level pad where they can stop and recover.

Older ramps just connected the street to the sidewalk. New ramps connect the street to a level pad and then the level pad is connected to the sidewalk. This is for the benefit of wheelchair uses. It may be a disadvantage to people who walk, run, bike, jog and roller blade, but all these users are not disabled and can make adjustments. PROWAG requires the priority be given to those with mobility issues.

Below is a new ramp with a wing on one side and the curb on the other, let me point out a few issues. This location has a steep cross grade flowing around the corner. To get the level pad in, we had to dig down. Then we need to return to grade. On the low side, the wing is relatively flat and can serve as a place to stand before crossing the street. On the uphill side, we had to put in a 6 inch tall curb to retain the soil and ensure the stormwater flows through the grass toward the street. Had we put a wing here, it would have been uncomfortably steep to stand on, which is undesirable.

Typically we find that every ramp in our Durham neighborhoods are not PROWAG compliant. They all must be replaced. We completely understand the new ramps look different, but that is the future of PROWAG compliant ramps.

Curb Ramp example