Residents complain about uprooted trees causing sidewalk dangers

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PITTSBURGH - Residents of one North Side neighborhood contacted Channel 11 New complaining about the sidewalk, where tree roots have uprooted bricks.

“It’s very unsafe. It’s unsteady, and it’s bad,” Manchester resident Wade Rue said.

Neighbors said they’re worried about safety because the bricks are uneven and it’s easy to trip. They said they want something done about it.

“(The city) acts like they don’t care. I mean, it’s no big issue to them. I talk to them and it’s like, ‘Yeah, yeah.’ That’s the trouble around here,” Rue said.

Target 11’s Rick Earle took the neighbor’s concerns to City Hall and Chief Operations Officer Guy Costa.

According to Costa, the homeowners are responsible for repairing the sidewalk. But he said the city will take care of the trees.

“They will shave the roots of the tree and remove the roots. If that causes the tree to die, it will be removed and replaced at a later date,” Costa said.

Costa also said the city will reimburse residents for some of the sidewalk costs.

Target 11 has discovered that 50 city residents filed claims last year, and so far, 48 have been paid a total of more than $40,000.

Councilwoman Darlene Harris said the city only pays $4 per square foot, and that’s not enough to cover the cost of a new sidewalk. She said she plans to introduce new legislation to raise the rate.

“That number is 20 years old, so it’s really not fair to the homeowner,” Harris said.

Rue and others said they just want something done before someone gets hurt.

A claim form and instruction sheets for sidewalk reimbursement are available online on the City's website (access them here). You can also call the main Law Department line 412-255-2015 and request a form to be mailed to them.