In the constant struggle to keep concrete sidewalks passable, some cities are ditching poured-in-place sidewalks for precast concrete sidewalks instead.
San Antonio, Texas is the latest community to be testing precast concrete sidewalks. Historically, the city has poured their sidewalks in place with the use of forms. This is how many municipalities install and replace sidewalks. The traditional method also gives a canvas to those wanting to emblazon their names or messages, as long as they get to the wet concrete in time.
But San Antonio, with 2,500 miles of sidewalk, has struggled to keep up with replacing the crumbling sidewalks using the old pour-in-place method.
According to one city official, sidewalks only three years old are starting to fall apart.
The precast sidewalk comes in panels which are poured and cured in a controlled environment to assure consistency. Each panel locks into one another to form a continuous stretch. It’s similar to the technology used in building bridges with precast concrete panels.
The advantages of precast sidewalks include less installation time and a stronger product. If future work needs to be done on utilities under the sidewalk, the panels can just be lifted out, instead of having to break up the existing sidewalk and then pouring a new one in its place.
The way the panels are installed also helps them from cracking. The connection joints allow the panels to move as the weather causes them to expand and contract. Further, the concrete is already pre-stressed and small cracks will close themselves up.
Precast concrete has become a popular alternative to concrete which is poured in place. The savings in time and effort that it offers outweighs the higher initial cost of the product.
At Del Zotto Products, we know all about precast concrete. From finished products to forms and materials needed to operate your own precast operation, we’d be happy to help you. Contact us today for information.