Inspection/Repair Programs

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Miscellaneous Sidewalk Inspection Program

This every other year program (even calendar years) includes the evaluation of public sidewalks in approximately half of Marion for code compliance and to notify adjacent owners to correct deficiencies.
Staff will inspect the sidewalks and place pink paint on sidewalk panels that are deemed deficient per City Code of Ordinances, Chapter 141.
Notification will be made by mail and owners will have typically until August to make repairs. Properties not complying will receive legal notice and potentially a legal process to provide for repairs.

Sidewalk Assessment Project

The Sidewalk Assessment Committee meets to determine areas that are without city sidewalk, locations are rated by most foot traffic. Sidewalk installation is the responsibility the adjacent homeowner, but for this project the city covers 50% of the cost.  Notifications are sent out and a project is administered through the city.

Ramp Repair Project

This annual program for the construction of sidewalk ramps in areas existing ramps are considered non-compliant and recommended by staff for replacement.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 is a civil rights statute that prohibits, under certain circumstances, discrimination based on disability. Title II of the ADA addresses the law's requirements of state/local governments in their interactions with people with disabilities. The U.S. Department of Justice's (DOJ) regulations declare that state/local governments must perform a self-evaluation of their services, programs, policies, and practices and identify barriers that may limit accessibility for people with disabilities, and develop transition plans describing how they will address identified barriers.

The Americans with Disability Act (ADA), Title II, covers programs, services or activities relating to areas of public transportation and updating existing infrastructure. ADA places emphasis on the accessibility of infrastructure within the public right of way. To achieve accessibility and consistency, public agencies are required to modify their policies, practices and procedures to avoid discrimination without altering the fundamental nature of services, programs or activities. Facilities required to be ADA compliant include sidewalks, crosswalks, bus stops, pedestrian signals, pedestrian ramps, and other features related to the safe movement of pedestrians.

Agencies with more than 50 employees are required to prepare: 1) a self-evaluation of all roadways and pedestrian facilities within their jurisdiction; and 2) a transition plan for all non-compliant facilities. Agencies with 50 employees or less have the following requirements: 1) a self-evaluation of all roadways and pedestrian facilities within their jurisdiction; and 2) modify policies and practices to bring them into compliance. The transition plan must include a list of all non-compliant facilities, a detailed outline of the methods to be used to make facilities accessible, a schedule for compliance with ADA's Title II, and the name of the official responsible for the implementation of the transition plan. The transition plan will be viewed as a "living document" and updated regularly to reflect changes and to address new areas of noncompliance.


The Iowa Department of Transportation provides for a section of Frequently Asked Questions

What authority requires public agencies to make public right-of-way accessible for all pedestrians with disabilities?

Public rights-of-way and facilities are required to be accessible to persons with disabilities through the following statutes: Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) (29 U.S.C. §794) and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) (42 U.S.C. §§ 12131-12164). The laws work together to achieve this goal. (9-12-06)


Staff prepared a draft 2013 Americans with Disabilities Act Transition Plan and provided it to Council for review.

Engineering staff has completed an inventory of the existing sidewalk ramps utilizing GIS ArcMap and the summer 2012 aerial photograph. From this inventory it was found that the City of Marion has approximately 3,311 ramps. These ramps were further defined by 3 (three) groups. Further investigation should be done to see if there are additional ramps to add to this list.

Compliant Ramps: These are ramps that were constructed in 2010 or sooner and were compliant based on the standards of that time. Some of these ramps could exceed the cross slope in the street but for the most part are compliant. These ramps were mainly done as part of City Projects, in which a City Inspector was present and so the likelihood that they are compliant is good. 340 of the 3,311 ramps are in this category (10%)

Partially Compliant Ramps: These are ramps that at least have truncated domes. Further inspection of these ramps should be completed, as some could be moved to the compliant ramp category. Many of these were built by residential home builder contractors and so there was less inspection completed on these ramps. 686 of the 3,311 ramps are in this category (21%)

Non-Compliant Ramps: These are ramps that do not have truncated domes. Some of these do not have a curb drop for the ramp at the street. Some of these ramps could be removed in their entirety as there is no need for multiple crossings at the same intersection. 2,285 of the 3,311 ramps are in this category (69%)

On Aug. 22, 2013 Council adopted the 2013 Americans with Disabilities Act Transition Plan for Marion and associated annual budget.

Construction is expected in the summer of 2015 and will include some partial lane closures, mainly in residential areas.


Bridge Inspection Program

Staff provides for biennial inspection for all bridges in Marion. Working with Calhoun-Burns & Associates, located in West Des Moines, inspections are performed including structural analysis of the bridges. The City currently owns 15 structures (bridges and culverts) which are under the Federal Bridge Inspection Program. This program requires the inspection and rating analysis for all structures with a span of 20 feet or more.

The inspection and analysis evaluates the condition of all components of the structure, the approaches and the stream. Components of the structure are evaluated based on defects which affect the integrity and safety of the structure as well as stream conditions which affect the foundations. A structure sufficiency rating is generated (0-100) which is used by the Iowa Department of Transportation to identify structures eligible for funding for replacement. Calhoun-Burns also identify maintenance issues which, if addressed will extend the functional capacities of the structures.