Smoother Columbia sidewalks

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COLUMBIA - Saws whirred along sidewalks in downtown Columbia Tuesday to smooth out bumps and cracks, but just a few minutes later, the noise stopped. 

Crews are working to make sidewalks smoother and more ADA accessible. 

Columbia Public Works identified over 200 "trip hazards" in the downtown and Paquin Tower area. It says pedestrians are at risk of tripping in these areas, and anyone using things like wheelchairs, bikes, or scooters might find it difficult to pass.

"They're terrible, they tear up our scooters, I mean, we have to ride in the street sometimes because the sidewalks are so bad," said Katherine Ali, a Columbia resident. "I'm glad they are doing it, I'm really glad they are doing it." 

Precision Concrete Cutting Midwest uses concrete smoothing methods to fix the sidewalks quickly and efficiently. The company is smoothing out the bumps, instead of digging out the concrete and re-pouring it.

Long-term sidewalk closures are not needed because each spot only takes around 10 minutes to fix. 

Repairs using this method cost 75 percent of what replacing sidewalk segments would. Columbia Public Works used money from its annual sidewalk improvement budget for the fixes. 

Residents in the area expressed gratitude for the patch work and looked forward to smoother rides on the sidewalks. 

Columbia Public Works says the work will continue through Friday.