A decision to join forces with five other municipalities for sidewalk replacement bids will end up benefiting Riverside this summer.

On May 23, the Riverside village board awarded a contract to Addison-based Globe Construction Inc. for the work, which is slated to take place during the summer months when school is not in session, according to Public Works Director Edward Bailey.

The contract award was for $35,650, which is well under the $50,000 the village budgeted for the work. Bailey said he hopes that Globe will agree to replace more sidewalk squares at the bid amount in order to hit the village’s budget for sidewalk replacement.

The favorable pricing for sidewalk replacement this year appears to be the result of a new concept — joint purchasing. Bailey decided to explore joining forces with nearby communities for sidewalk replacement bids after learning of a similar program in the north suburbs.

“My hope is to be able to continue jointly working on quantities for different things,” said Bailey. “The sky’s the limit.”

Bailey said seven communities he contacted, including Brookfield and North Riverside, were interested in the concept of joint purchasing. Five of the communities, including North Riverside, agreed to be part of the trial run for sidewalk replacement.

“The issue Riverside has is that we have small but important projects, and we have trouble attracting competitive bidders,” said Bailey. “[Sidewalk replacement] seemed like such an obvious item.”

It turns out that the five communities only attracted two bidders, which was something of a disappointment, according to Bailey. But one of the bidders came in with pricing for Riverside that was lower than 2012 and, in fact, was lower than the price quoted for other communities in the venture.

Riverside will pay $7 per square foot for their exposed aggregate sidewalk squares, a 50-cent per square foot savings from last year. Western Springs was also quoted the $7 price for ordinary concrete.

LaGrange, LaGrange Park and Countryside — which are replacing fewer squares than Riverside or Western Springs — were quoted a price of $8 per square foot for ordinary concrete.

The price for North Riverside, which participated in the process, is not known, since that village has not worked out its 2013-14 operating budget yet. Tim Kutt, the village’s public works director, said the prices quoted by Globe were within the range North Riverside has seen in recent years, but weren’t a dramatic savings.

“Typically prices are anywhere between $5 to $8 [per square foot],” Kutt said. “It really depends on how much work is out there. North Riverside is still waiting on two more requests for proposals to determine whether they’ll move forward with the cooperatively bid price. North Riverside budgets between $10,000 and $20,000 every other year for sidewalk replacement, according to Kutt.

Brookfield, which decided against joining the cooperative bid process, approved a sidewalk replacement contract with Strada Construction on May 28. Brookfield is replacing 10,000 square feet of sidewalk in the village, more than double Riverside’s project.

The village will pay $5.10 per square foot, with a total project cost of about $55,400. This is the first year Brookfield is handling sidewalk replacement in a managed fashion, targeting defective sidewalk in a specific area of the village. In the past the village had a 50-50 program where homeowners paid half the cost. However, defective sidewalks were often ignored in favor of squares targeted by homeowners.

This year sidewalk replacement will be concentrated on the south end of the village.

“All of the 2-inch trip hazards or greater [in that area] will be taken care of with this group,” said Brookfield Public Works Director Dan Kaup.

Riverside will continue to target defective sidewalks in areas that see greater pedestrian traffic, near schools and in the central business district.

Bailey said he hopes to be able to convince other municipalities to seek joint bids for other projects done almost universally, such as crack sealing, street resurfacing, sewer televising and lining, janitorial services and even bridge inspection.

“We all do these things,” said Bailey, “why not combine them?”