Identifying Hazards and Making Repairs

Identifying Hazards

Eugene City Code 7.375 places sidewalk maintenance and liability on the abutting property owner.  Sidewalks that have vertical offset of greater than ¼ inch, sunken or cracked panels, missing sections, or disintegration of surface cement are common examples of sidewalk hazards.  Frequently, tree roots push up sections of sidewalk, causing tripping hazards.  The City of Eugene Urban Forestry Department will address city owned tree/sidewalk conflict by taking site specific actions.  This can include tree removal and shaving or pruning roots after panels are excavated.  For detailed information about the specific standards used to evaluate sidewalk safety, contact the Public Works Maintenance Division at 541-682-4800. 

Image of common sidewalk hazards

Notifying Property Owners

If deficiencies are found, the City notifies the property owner(s) abutting the damaged section(s) of sidewalk by sending a Courtesy Letter of Required Maintenance, which details repair options.

Repair Options

If your sidewalk is deficient, you have several options for taking corrective action:

  • Property owners can do the work themselves. This can involve panel replacement, grinding of high edges not taller than 1 inch, or making temporary patches that eliminate hazards.  The City Sidewalk Inspector can provide more details upon request that fit individual property owner's needs.
  • Property owners can hire a licensed contractor to do the repairs. Guidance for this option can be found by speaking with the Sidewalk Inspector at 541-682-4884.
  • A permit is needed if repairs are larger than 30 square feet.  Permit information can be found at the Eugene Permit and Information Center (99 W. 10th Ave., Eugene, OR 97401) or by calling 541-682-5086. 
  • At times, the City of Eugene Public Works Maintenance Division has availability to repair sidewalks.  The City will bill the property owner if the work is done by a City crew. Please check with the Sidewalk Inspector regarding City crew availability by calling 541-682-4800 or emailing the Public Works Maintenance Division.

Repair work must be completed in a timely manner, generally 20 days. If the repairs are not completed in this time period, the City of Eugene may complete the work and bill the property owner. 

Repair Examples


Grinding a minor vertical offset

Before after panel replacement

Before and after images of a panel replacement

Example of a sidewalk rerouted around tree roots

Example of sidewalk rerouted around tree roots