Los Angeles has selected HDR to serve as program manager for the next three years for its robust Sidewalk Repair Program. The 30-year, $1.4 billion program aims to repair sidewalks to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and ensure universal access for all Angelenos. The second-largest city in the U.S., Los Angeles is home to roughly 11,000 miles of sidewalks, many of which hinder passage because of cracks, buckles and bulging tree roots.

HDR is already engaged in multiple municipal sidewalk repair programs, including a five-year project in Boston aimed at improving sidewalks, curb ramps and cross walks; and a comprehensive sidewalk study in Georgetown, Texas. As municipalities increasingly scrutinize accessibility and safety, HDR continues helping clients develop efficient strategies to ensure ADA compliance on public pathways.

HDR’s services in LA include design, program management and construction management for all planned improvements. In early 2015, the firm helped the city launch its Sidewalk Repair Program through an on-call contract and quickly integrated with the Department of Public Works to form a seamless team, sharing office space in the department’s headquarters.

“We partnered with city staff to define near-term and long-term strategies for repairing city sidewalks,” said HDR project manager Scott Bacsikin. “In the first eight months, we reconstructed 20 miles of equivalent 5-foot sidewalk compliant with ADA.”

In addition to offering technical expertise and program management experience, HDR’s team augments the city’s pool of resources by providing as-needed design, computer-aided design and graphics rendering, database programming, ADA coordination, construction management, and real estate services — all requiring a thorough understanding of the California Environmental Quality Act and ADA.

Since the beginning, HDR has employed technical innovations to streamline and enhance information gathering and management, among them creating a GIS-based mobile application that makes more efficient use of field research time. HDR’s custom app allows the engineer to enter measurements on site, into a mobile device that transmits the information back to the office. It simultaneously generates a scope of work and engineer’s estimate, and geocodes the repair location’s coordinates.

“Without this application, an engineer physically has to measure the area in need of repair, noting measurements on paper and returning to the office to input them into software that will develop the scope of repair and generate an estimate,” Bacsikin said. “It saves time and money.”

A similar application developed by HDR’s team enhances urban forest management. It allows team members to record tree species, health data and coordinates.

Technology also allows LA residents to interface with the sidewalk project team. Using the city’s MyLA311 mobile app, residents submit sidewalk service requests. Members of the HDR team respond to evaluate compliance and record the scope of work.