Sidewalks/Curbs Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why are there spray paint markings in different colors in the street, on the sidewalk or on the curbing?
A: The paint either marks utility locations or the sections of sidewalks, curbing or roadway to be replaced.
The colors identify the following utilities or activities:
- yellow –gas
- blue –water
- green –sewer
- red – electric
- orange – cable TV
- florescent pink – replacement is proposed
Q: Why is only some sidewalk or curbing in front of my house marked for replacement?
A: The County is in your neighborhood to do routine infrastructure maintenance. We are replacing segments of failed or hazardous sidewalks and/or curbing. This work is not being done to improve the appearance of the sidewalk or curbing. However, we may remove some sections that appear to be safe for preventive maintenance.
Q: How was my neighborhood selected for this work?
A: The Division of Highway Services maintains a countywide inventory of subdivisions. During winter, inspectors are dispatched to re-inventory subdivisions, primarily in older areas. They survey and document failed sidewalks and curbing, with quantity and dollar estimates. A two-year schedule is then developed. Approved funding ultimately determines what is scheduled and the level at which we are able to implement the program, which varies year to year. We spend the majority of the construction season in mature areas, where the infrastructure is in greater need of repair.
Q: What is the current cycle? When will you return to my area?
A: We currently operate within a concrete replacement cycle of fifteen to thirty years. It is very possible that you may see work being done in your area sooner than this, but on a much smaller scale.
Q: How long will there be construction in front of my home?
A: Our contractor works on one side of the street at a time. From the posting of the "No Parking" signs and the start of digging, the work in front of your residence will ordinarily be completed within three to four days, weather permitting.
Q: After my apron is replaced, when I can drive on it?
A: Three days after the apron is poured. Three days allow time for enough concrete curing to successfully hold a small, mid or large size car or SUV; however this is NOT sufficient time for LARGE TRUCKS OR MOVING VANS.
Q: Who will replace the disturbed dirt and grass when the work is complete?
A: The contractor will perform all restoration work when construction is complete in front of each residence.
Q: How do I contact the contractor or the County Inspector?
A: The simplest way is to go outside and ask the workers for the person in charge. They will put you in touch with their foreman or with our inspector. The inspector is usually in a white County vehicle with the County seal on the door. You should be able to receive answers to most of your questions at that time. The CONTACT INFORMATION section provides additional information.
Q: When can I park in front of my home again?
A: As soon as the "No Parking" signs are removed, you may park in front of your home.
Q: Why is the County digging on my property?
A: Our contractor or our in-house crews will work only within the public right-of-way. In many areas, the county has a right-of-way of 60 feet. It may be possible to get close to the property line by measuring 30 feet from the center of the road toward your home. If sidewalk is present on your street, the property line is usually a foot behind it. If there is no sidewalk, the line is between 15 and 16 feet behind the curbing or the road edge.
Q: How can you repair the hill that was disturbed by the digging?
A: If we have to widen the road to do our work and a hill, slope, or embankment interferes, we may have to re-grade the slope and stabilize it so that it is possible for you to maintain. In extreme situations, we may have to install a wall of some kind, usually block, concrete, or timber, to stabilize the hill. An inspector will be in touch with you to explain the work plans.
Q: Who do I contact about personal property damage done by the contractors working in my neighborhood?
A: If damage is done to your property, you may contact the inspector for the contractor's information, or if you wish, you may file a claim by calling MC311 to report the damage.
Q: What temperatures are ideal for concrete replacement?
A: We pour concrete when temperatures are 35° F and rising. Insulating blankets will be used overnight when it gets colder and curing compound is used when the temperature rises to 85° F and above.
Q: What kind of concrete does the county use?
A: The County uses the Maryland State Highway Administration Mix #3, Air-Entrained Concrete. This concrete is strong enough to hold 2,500 to 3,000 PSI (Pounds per Square Inch), and is strong for residential and commercial uses. The mix is tested and approved for use by the Montgomery County Construction Section's Materials Unit Lab.
Q: Is it possible to have new sidewalks installed while Highway Services is in our neighborhood?
A: To have new sidewalks installed, you must file a petition with the Division of Transportation Engineering's Sidewalk Program. The main number is 311 and staff will explain the process regarding the installation of new sidewalks. Highway Services will only connect missing links between stretches of previously existing sidewalk.
Q: While Highway Services is in our neighborhood, is it possible to have curbing installed where none exists?
A: Yes. You must submit your request in writing on behalf of your street or, on a larger scale, your subdivision or association. We will then conduct an investigation, including feasibility studies and cost analysis. Consideration must be given to our funding at the time, as we have to maintain infrastructure that is already in place before we install new. You may need to submit a petition signed by yourself and your neighbors before we proceed with these studies. To receive blank petitions, please contact our office at 240-777-6000. The County also may require that homeowners without driveway aprons install one at their expense, if they are to be a part of the curbing process. Requests are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
If you need more specific details, please contact our Customer Service Center at 311.
For any MCDOT service request or complaint, call 311
When dialing outside of the county, call 240-777-0311 or submit via their website.
For website comments or to report website problems or broken links, please email us.
This email address does not handle service requests or complaints.
Highway Services · Montgomery County Department of Transportation
Questions/Comments · Inside Montgomery County dial 311 · TTY: 240-773-3556
Outside Montgomery County dial 240-777-0311