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ADA Pedestrian Improvements

In 2015 and 2016, more than 6,000 new ADA ramps were installed throughout the City. The City’s goal is to complete construction of ADA ramps at all corners in Denver where they currently do not exist by the end of 2017.

According to standards set by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), newly constructed or altered streets must contain curb ramps. As a result, Denver’s Annual Concrete Program is prioritizing the installation of ADA pedestrian ramps in all locations where the Street Maintenance Division is planning to do street work and a ramp does not exist. Building ramps before the street work is done saves money, preventing new street work from being damaged by ramp installation. ADA acessibility is mandated at all intersections.

Please refer to the weekly construction update on this page and other information below to track ADA ramp construction in your neighborhood and to learn more about the process. 

ADA ramp construction, asphalt and landscape for the week of October 16, weather permitting:

  • Speer Neighborhood/West Washington Park: Pennsylvania and Clarkson Streets between Cedar and Ellsworth Avenues, (Keene Concrete), Inspector: Lawrence Alcaraz
  • Central Business District: Walnut St & 24th St, Tremont St & Broadway, 20th St & Stout, 18th St & Glenarm, (Jalisco International), Inspector: Aaron McMichael
  • Athmar Park: Alameda to Mississippi Avenues between Federal Blvd and Huron St (Fasick Concrete), Inspector: Caitlin Wolff
  • Highland/West Highland/Berkeley/Sunny Side/Regis/Chaffee Park: Sheridan Blvd to Broadway between 56th and 26th Avenues (Silva Construction), Inspector: Brian Hoover
  • Bear Valley: Sheridan to Wadsworth Avenues and Yale to Dartmouth Avenues (Chato’s Concrete), Inspector: Bill Friend

Ramp Construction Scheduling and Preparation

Example doorhanger from Denver Public Works highlighting Inspector Name, Contractor Name, and contact informationA door hanger is placed on homes and businesses if an ADA pedestrian ramp or other concrete work is about to be performed adjacent to your property.  Before construction starts, a City Inspector comes out to mark the work area with pink spray paint and then a Professional Land Surveyor will make note of any existing survey markers. NO PARKING signs will be placed in the work area to allow clear access for the necessary equipment. Weather permitting, ADA ramps usually take 3 to 7 days to complete once actual construction begins.

All contact information is on the door hanger and on this website.  See the sample image of the door hanger provided.

For more detailed information about the construction process and timing, see the information under “What to Expect During ADA Ramp Construction” on this page.

PLEASE HOLD ONTO YOUR DOOR HANGER UNTIL ALL CONSTRUCTION IS COMPLETED and you are confident that any landscape or sprinkler problems resulting from ramp construction have been resolved. Please feel free to contact the Contractor, the City’s Project Inspector or the City’s Curb Ramp Hotline if an issue arises or if you have any questions. 

If your street is scheduled for ramp installation, please read the information under "What to Expect During Ramp Construction."

If your street is scheduled for ramp installation, the following information outlines the typical steps in the process.

Before Construction Begins

Professional land surveyors locate and tie-out any documented survey markers so they can be re-established after construction. All construction and repair work is planned only within the City’s Right-of Way. Nearby underground utilities are located. If no conflicts are anticipated, a green “NF” — signifying “None Found” — will be spray painted on the sidewalk corner. Temporary pink spray paint will be used to mark off the areas of asphalt and concrete to be excavated during ramp installation. The City Project Inspector may come by to look at the site. The contractor obtains permits for Street Occupancy, Street Closure and Barricade plans.

Concrete contractor construction firms that specialize in ADA ramps and concrete flatwork perform the ramp installation under the supervision of the City Project Inspector. In advance of construction, saw cutters may put superficial cuttings in the asphalt to separate the areas of asphalt and concrete to be excavated. It is safe to park and drive on this part of the road after the cuts are made. This part of the process may occur days, weeks or months in advance of any construction and should not cause any disruption to daily resident activity.

The City Project Inspector comes back to the installation site when construction is about to begin and marks the area with temporary spray paint again, if needed. Landscaping on the corners and any potential resident landscape conflicts are noted.

  • Homeowners with possible landscape conflicts typically receive a door hanger five (5) days in advance of construction to give residents the opportunity to remove or protect special plantings or other items that might be impacted during construction.
  • Homes without landscaping conflicts will receive door hangers at least two (2) days prior to construction. Door hangers include contact information for the City Project Inspector and the construction company. 

For safety reasons, it is the City’s policy to pave the small triangular area between the two setback sidewalks at the corners. The property owner is responsible for the maintenance of this area.

  • If you prefer to retain existing landscaping in this corner area and are willing to be responsible for maintenance, please call the City Project Inspector to request leaving this area unpaved.

No Parking signs will be placed on the road. At this point, weather permitting, construction is ready to begin.

Actual Construction of Ramp

If saw cutters have not already been to the site, they will arrive to prepare the site for concrete and asphalt removal. The asphalt removed extends about 24 inches out from the street gutter. The asphalt is excavated along with the existing curb, gutter and immediate sidewalk area to make room for the new ramp.

“No Parking” signs will indicate that it is not possible to park in the immediate area during construction. Cars are often able to drive down the street with guidance from the construction crew.

Once excavation is completed and materials have been hauled away, wooden or steel “forms” are installed to help shape the concrete as it is being poured. The soil is graded to the appropriate slope for the ramp and for proper drainage of stormwater. The concrete can then be poured.

  • The process of saw cutting, excavating and hauling, creating the forms, grading the soil and pouring the concrete for the curb, gutter, affected sidewalk and ramp takes 2 to 4 days. Construction tape and barriers are put up while the concrete cures. 
  • Depending on the weather, curing can take 1 to 3 days. During colder temperatures, construction blankets may be placed over the concrete to speed up the curing process.

After Ramp Construction is Complete

Once the concrete cures, the forms are removed. The excavated area is backfilled and asphalt is patched along the new curb. At this point, the ramp is completed to the point where it is safe for residents to use the area, drive their cars freely and park on the street.

  • Landscape repairs to sprinklers, grass and gardens usually takes place within 7 days of pouring the concrete. With ramp construction in winter months, some landscape repairs may be held off until spring.
  • Surveyors have up to 6 months to restore survey markers disturbed during construction.

Important: Please keep the notice for up to one year until all concrete and/or landscape and sprinkler repairs are resolved.

Frequently Asked Questions

Someone came by and sprayed paint marks on my sidewalk and street. Does this mean I am going to have a ramp constructed on my corner?

Yes, you can expect the City to install new pedestrian ramps on your corner within two weeks to six months. The pink spray paint indicates where the asphalt and concrete will be excavated to create space for the ramp. For more detail, please refer to “What to Expect During ADA Ramp Construction.”

How can I find out if my street is scheduled for a ramp installation?

Handicap accessibility is mandated at all intersections. At some point in 2016 or 2017, your neighborhood will get new ramps in any location where ramps currently do not exist.

Please refer to the ‘2016 Ramp Work by Council District’ to see projected work for this calendar year. You can also check this website for weekly updates on current construction.

How long will it take?

Total expected construction time should be 3 to 7 days, weather permitting. For more detail, please refer to “What to Expect During ADA Ramp Construction."

I don’t want a ramp, why is the City building one?

Since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1992, the City and County of Denver is obligated by federal law to install ADA ramps at locations where street improvements are made as specified by the Federal Department of Justice guidelines. Read more about the guidelines for ADA ramp installation

Why is there a handicap ramp on my street when the sidewalk isn’t wide enough for someone in a wheelchair to access?

ADA ramps are being installed at all corners and T-intersections where any sidewalk exists in an effort to make the City of Denver operations in compliance with the Federal ADA Act. The ADA guidelines do not currently require existing sidewalks to be widened to accommodate wheelchairs, but the City foresees the possibility that the sidewalks may be required to be widened in the future. The ADA ramps are being constructed to accommodate for the potential future widening. If there is not an improved walking surface, no ADA ramp is required.

Can you fix my sidewalk, curb, and gutter since you are already going to be here?

The property owner is responsible for the sidewalk. Where combination curb, gutter and sidewalk exist, the City Project Inspector can review significant hazards or flow line disruptions to see if additional repairs are needed.

I think my new ramp is too flat, can you rebuild it?

Over 3,000 ADA ramps were constructed by the City last year and only 2 were marginally out of specification. We cannot move them nor can we build them steeper. We must comply with the ADA, which is enforced by the Federal Department of Justice Access Board. 

The City of Denver Capital Projects Management group is tasked with building ADA ramps at all locations where they are required by federal guidelines and do not currently exist. Our group is not an engineering regulatory group, so we cannot change the City Standard Details and Specifications; we must build these in accordance with this document. The City of Denver must also comply with the federal guidelines set forth in the ADA, which are not likely to change.

The latest revisions to the guidelines by the Federal Department of Justice Access Board recommend reducing the cross slope to 1.5% which will be even flatter. The Capital Projects Management group can only respond to issues regarding recent or current construction of ADA ramps in accordance with City of Denver Specifications.

I paid to legally mark my property line. Will those markers be replaced?

Generally, all work being done by this project is in the City’s Right-of-Way and most survey markers are off-set ties to the actual survey monuments and are mainly used by the City’s surveyor. If it appears that a survey marker you have is in the area marked for construction, please contact us by calling your City Project Inspector or by leaving a message on the curb ramp hotline at 720-460-9055. Surveyors have up to 6 months to restore survey markers disturbed during construction. 

ADA ramps are being installed at all corners, including T-intersections, where any sidewalk exists. This is not only to comply with current guidelines but also to accommodate potential future widening of sidewalks or changes to the street layout.

Typical Layout of a Ramp at a Three-Way "T" Intersection

illustration showing three-way intersection in residential neighborhood with location and closeup of installed ramp
(click to enlarge image)

This layout is representative of a typical "Type 2M" ramp installation at a three-way intersection. Ramp size may vary to meet grades and specifications.

Example of ramp on long side of a T intersection with small inset into landscaping

The historic designation applies to private properties in a historic district and does not confer preservation status to the sidewalks or streets. The City will NOT save, store, and replace flagstone in the City right-of-way. 

Community Planning & Development: Landmark Preservation Updates


What Can I Expect During Construction?

A door hanger will notify you of impending ramp construction 48 hours before construction is to begin. Concrete crews will remove as many flagstone pieces as necessary to achieve the proper ramp slope as specified by federal guidelines. Additional sections of flagstone sidewalks may need to be removed to avoid excessively steep slopes. The flagstone will be removed from the construction site.

Upon completion of the ramp, the sidewalk in designated districts with continuous existing flagstone sidewalks may be rebuilt with red-tinted concrete to blend in with the rest of the flagstone sidewalk.

Can I keep my flagstone and use it to rebuild my sidewalk?

All existing flagstone removed for the construction of ADA ramps and regrading of adjacent sidewalk will not be salvaged by the City. Salvage and reuse of removed flagstone is not recommended and can only be arranged between the adjacent property owner and the City’s Contractor.

Adjacent property owners wishing to keep their flagstone sidewalk must assume all responsibility for arranging with the City’s contractor to do so. The Contractor contact information is posted on this website and should also be on the door hanger placed on the front door of the adjacent property owner.

The City will NOT allow salvaged materials to be stockpiled or stored in the City right-of-way.

  • Reconstruction of a City sidewalk requires a permit which must be obtained before work can begin; refer to the Denver Municipal Code for information on sidewalk construction and permits: Municipal Code Sec. 49
  • Additional information regarding sidewalk reconstruction and permits can also be found through Right of Way Services.

Why doesn’t the City recommend reuse of flagstone sidewalk?

  • Flagstone sidewalk slabs can weigh hundreds of pounds and are a liability and risk to handle.
  • Most flagstone cannot be reset to meet current standards; see the current Criteria for Hazardous or Defective Sidewalks (PDF)
  • It is the adjacent property owner’s responsibility to develop and maintain the sidewalk; the City has no funding for this type of work.
  • Most pieces of flagstone are unique and are not readily interchangeable without some stone cutting and fitting. Many pieces break upon removal and/or are weathered and no longer have a uniformly smooth surface.

Will my landscaping be altered during construction? How does the City fix it?

If you have flowerbeds, plants or other special landscaping on the corner of your lot, they may be affected during construction. When special landscape is present, residents typically receive notice of ramp installation 5 days prior to the start of construction so that sensitive or valuable plants within a couple feet of the existing walk can be removed by the resident and replanted after construction. The City’s landscape contractor specializes mainly in sprinkler repairs and sod and seeding grass lawns.

As a matter of public safety, the City’s policy is to pave over the small triangular area between the new ramps on corners where the sidewalk is set back away from the curb. If you have this area nicely landscaped and irrigated and wish to assume responsibility to maintain and keep this area safe, please notify the City’s Project Inspector as soon as you receive the public notice door hanger.

Can I use my sprinklers while construction is being done? 

Please avoid watering the excavation site if it is left open for concrete repair. Watering the area will delay construction. If you live in a residence directly next to the area where construction is taking place, sprinkler heads and lines on your property may have to be moved slightly to properly grade the sidewalk and build the wooden forms to shape the concrete.

Once the concrete has cured and the forms have been removed, the construction crews will move, repair, and reconnect your sprinklers. In warm weather, sprinklers will be repaired within 7 days. In the winter, the contractor may return in the spring to complete repairs.

Please keep your door hanger so that you have the contact information to resolve any outstanding landscape or sprinkler repairs after construction.


What happens to landscape Improvements and street trees on City property?

All of the curb and sidewalk is contained inside City property, which includes several feet of City property behind the walk. Our crews are instructed to keep landscape and tree removals to a minimum and to try to disturb only what is needed to install the ramp. If, however, you have installed landscape improvements on City property, the City is not responsible for replacing these improvements should they be disturbed or removed due to ramp construction.

Our inspectors can consult with homeowners in advance so that, where possible, landscaping can be safely removed for replanting after ramp construction is completed. In the case of mature trees, the City Forester may be called upon for additional consultation.

Further information

What About My Garden Wall or Fence?

ADA pedestrian ramp construction will only occur on City property. If a garden wall or fence is located on City property it may have to be disturbed or removed in order to accommodate construction of a pedestrian ramp. The City is not responsible for replacing fences or other hardscaping installed on City property. 

Additional information

Can I park on my street while the construction is being done?

YES and NO. Immediately before construction begins, the City’s contractor will put up “No Parking” signs on your block. You will not be able to park in the immediate area during the 3-7 days of construction in order to leave room for construction vehicles, materials and personnel.

However, only the immediate area around the construction site will have restricted parking. Other parts of the street may not be impacted.

Can I park in front of the new ramp?

No. A pedestrian ramp is part of the street crosswalk, and cars may not park in the crosswalk.

There is snow build–up and/or ice in the new ADA ramp adjacent to my property that is difficult to maintain, is this my responsibility?

Yes, the adjacent property owner is responsible for the development and maintenance of the sidewalk adjoining their property and the ADA ramps are simply a portion of the sidewalk modified to comply with Federal ADA standards. The resident is responsible for clearing the ramp of snow, leaves and debris.

Please see additional information at Denversnowplan.com

Why is the ramp near my house full of dirt/sediment and trash?

Sediment and dirt collecting in a corner ADA ramp and nearby gutterIt is common to have sediment in the gutter/flowline within the city streets. This often caused by changes in the velocity of the storm water as it flows down the gutter. During rain/snow melt events, the sediment is transported in the water flowing down the gutter/flowline. As the water enters the ADA ramp curb cut opening the velocity of the storm water runoff is slowed and allows the sediment to settle out within the ramp. 

Maintenance/clean-up within the ramp is necessary and is the responsibility of the homeowner adjacent to the ramp.

 

Sediment and dirt collecting in an ADA ramp along a T intersection

This program is for the City’s Contracted maintenance and repair work only. For questions regarding new construction, remodeling, site development please see Right of Way Services.

If you have other questions that aren't addressed on this page, please contact your City Project Inspector or call the Curb Ramp Hotline number listed in the sidebar. 

 

Contact Us

During Business Hours
Phone:
720-460-9055

Please allow time for a response before calling other numbers provided on this site.

If you know the name of your City Project Inspector this is the most efficient way of getting information quickly. Please allow a reasonable amount of time for the inspector to respond to your message before calling the Curb Ramp Hotline.

Lawrence Alcaraz
720-336-9978 | lawrence.alcaraz@denvergov.org
Habla Espanol

Tim Cullen
303-880-1497 | tim.cullen@denvergov.org

Bill Friend
720-295-6037 | william.friend@denvergov.org

Brian Hoover
720-503-1678 | brian.hoover@denvergov.org

Aaron McMichael
720-432-6482 | aaron.mcmichael@denvergov.org

Rand Peterson
303-880-4138 | rand.peterson@denvergov.org

Gary Stanhope
303-446-3428 | gary.stanhope@denvergov.org

Caitlin Wolff 
720-772-7135 | caitlin.wolff@denvergov.org

Shawn Callahan
720-663-1748 | shawn.callahan@denvergov.org

Rick Zimmat, Project Manager
303-446-3718

If you know the name of the contractor working on your project, a list of contractors and their contact information is below:

Chato’s Concrete, Inc.
720-252-7959

Fasick Concrete, Inc. 
303-419-2455

Keene Concrete, Inc.
303-227-1901

Silva Construction, Inc.
720-550-8175

Jalisco International
303-287-8905

 

When to call the Curb Ramp Hotline

Phone: 720-460-9055

  • If you do not have an active project or do not know the name of your City Project Inspector or contractor
  • If you have reviewed the information on this site and still have questions
During business hours, our goal is to return calls promptly. Please allow some time for a response before calling other numbers provided on this site.