New Lenox considers buying machine for sidewalk repairs
By Erin Gallagher For The Herald-News July 11, 2012 8:48AM
Updated: August 16, 2012 6:12AM
NEW LENOX — In an effort to make sidewalks safer, New Lenox is considering buying a mud-jacking machine. The practice, however, came under debate by the village board Monday.
Mud jacking is the process by which holes are drilled into concrete in order to inject sand underneath. This helps lift and level the slab to make it level.
Trustee David Smith opposed the procedure because it is not permanent. The same sidewalk may need to be jacked four to six times, he said.
“What this would allow us to do is knock out neighborhoods with tripping hazards,” said Village Administrator Kurt Carroll.
Director of Operations Ron Sly explained that the machine would be compact enough for the existing employees to use with existing trucks.
“It’s not real complicated,” Sly said. “There’s probably a little art to it, but it’s not real technical.”
Shorewood has a similar machine. New Lenox employees plan to spend time in Shorewood to learn how they do it, but otherwise no additional training would be necessary.
The point is to allow the crew the flexibility to improve the sidewalks when they have down time. Ordinarily, hiring contractors to remove and replace a sidewalk costs $6 to $6.50 per square foot just for the concrete work. This machine that would cost $30,275 would do the work for about $1.75 per square foot.
The board asked the village staff to evaluate the costs to discuss at the next meeting July 23.