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Alley Maintenance Program

COVID-19 and City Maintenance

Construction and maintenance are classified as essential services. The city is committed to community safety and is proactively taking steps to keep the community and city staff safe. The city's construction and maintenance projects will continue due to several factors, including financing, contract deadlines and public need. To follow social distancing guidelines, essential city staff, including maintenance staff, are reporting to work in smaller numbers and in staggered shifts. For your safety and adherence to the stay-at-home order, do not approach construction zones or workers. Staff will be prioritizing urgent issues during this time and non-essential maintenance may experience a delayed response. We appreciate your patience and look forward to continuing to serve the community. For the latest information on the city’s response to COVID-19, visit

Alley Maintenance

The City of Boulder Transportation Maintenance Department maintains alleys on an "as needed" basis. Alleys, typically constructed of a sand/stone material mixture called road base, are assessed annually and priorities are set for maintenance activities. These activities may include potholing, reconstruction or grading, with the majority of alleys getting graded on an annual basis. 

Alley Maintenance FAQ's


What actions does your team take to maintain the alleys?  (i.e. grading, pothole filling, adding material, reducing dust, etc.)


Dirt alleys that are owned and maintained by the city are inspected one to two times per year. If necessary, crews will perform grading and compacting operations. Paved alleys that have potholes are patched as requested.


How will I know if you have already inspected my alley and/or done work?


Inspections will be documented in our asset management software. Our Public Works Administrative team can search for your alley and provide information regarding the status and determinations of inspections. If crews determine that maintenance is necessary, they will perform grading and compaction operations to improve driving surface conditions. We will attempt to match the level of adjacent property surfaces to prevent moving water from areas that it has historically drained to. This grading work should be noticeable, and the driving surface will be smoother than before.


What should I do about my trash cans if I have alley pickup?


Trash cans should not be in the path of travel in an alley at any time. Please keep them as close to your house as possible. We will do our best to move cans that are left out in the alley, understanding that sometimes it is the trash pickup company that leaves trash cans in the alley.


What if I have plantings/flower beds adjacent to the alley?  Will you disturb/replace them?


We only do work within the City's right of way. If you have vegetation that you have planted in the right of way, it should not be there. However, there are rare occasions when the unpredictable happens to private property. If there is damage to private property, please contact our Risk Management Team at [email protected] or through Inquire Boulder.


Will I be able to access the alley that day with my vehicle or do I need to park on the street?


When equipment is in the alley, cars should be parked on the street so city crews can more efficiently finish their work. Traffic impacts are minimal and city staff will make efforts to ensure access is maintained.


What if I am not satisfied with the maintenance performed in my alley?


The alley was maintained to industry standards and to cover city responsibilities for the alley. Dirt alleys, paved alleys, and streets are not serviced in the same way. This is due to the maintenance types and needs of different surface types and service levels provided for different levels of use. Unpaved alleys will generally be the lowest service level street in areas where they exist due to the low overall volume of use. There is sometimes confusion about what services the city can provide in alleys. The city cannot afford to provide customized services in alleys and must treat each neighborhood equitably. Due to other considerations with alleys and city budget reductions, we are not considering upgrades to alley surface types.



What can be done if my alley was recently maintained but has quickly deteriorated again?


Please call Public Works administrative staff at (303) 441-3200 to request a reinspection of your alley. Please note that a reinspect will be scheduled as staff are is available and may take several days to weeks for the inspection to take place. If upon inspection staff determines the conditions to be acceptable, we will not return to perform work in the alley. If crews determine the alley does warrant additional work, we will schedule maintenance as resources are available to avoid disruption of the annual schedule.


I live at (insert address).  Will you fix my alley?


We will inspect every city-owned, soft surfaced alley at least once per year. Crews will determine if maintenance is necessary based on those inspections. Alleys that warrant maintenance will be serviced within one week of the inspection to avoid deterioration between the inspection and maintenance work being performed.