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City helping with sidewalk replacements

Three Forks residents can get assistance replacing their dilapidated sidewalks from the city as part of a project to beautify the streets while making them safer, according to an email sent by the city on June 1.

"The City is committed to the replacement of deteriorated and/or trip hazard sidewalks by tearing out and hauling away the debris as our contribution to your sidewalk replacement project," the email reads. The city's concrete removal contribution will create savings in terms of labor and disposal fees. Another part of the beautification project is the city's offer to supply residents with the American with Disabilities Act corner tiles–which normally cost $400–making the sidewalks accessible for everyone.

Residents interested in utilizing this city service should call the city shop at (406) 285-3408. The email clarifies that residents need to hire a contractor to install the new sidewalk, or do it themselves. The City of Three Forks' website has a list of licensed businesses to help residents find qualified contractors.

When replacing their sidewalks, Three Forks residents must follow the standards outlined in the Public Design Standards, Section 5.5.5. This section informs residents on the regulations applying to new sidewalk construction, including the required width and other construction requirements.

By replacing many of the city's century-old sidewalks, the city hopes to reduce tripping hazards and improve safety. Some conditions negatively impacting the quality of sidewalks include salting during the winter. The city email clarifies that even products labeled "concrete safe" can crack sidewalks. Trees growing near the walk ways can lift the concrete plats. "Concrete seems to last a lifetime...however, it doesn't always stay in the best condition," the city email reads.

The city encourages residents to shovel their walkways during the winter to keep the sidewalks in "great condition." However, a Jan. 28 post on the City of Three Forks Facebook page requested that residents shovel their walkways onto open ground rather than into the gutter or street to promote safety.

The city's most recent email explains that rainy and snowy conditions increase the chance of someone tripping or falling on dilapidated sidewalks and reminds residents that "a safe sidewalk is the best defense in hazard prevention."

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