Wheelchair Ramp Brings All Kinds Of Trouble At City Hall

CHICAGO (CBS) — A new wheelchair ramp being built at City Hall reportedly is plagued with so many problems that it’s being called the project from hell.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports, the new Z-shaped ramp leading to City Council chambers is being paid for with a nearly $500,000 Tax Increment Financing District grant. But the Chicago Sun-Times reports now, the ramp project has been stalled and has gotten even more expensive, because of a series of mistakes by the contractor.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports

Sources tell the paper that initially, the ramp was a fraction of an inch too steep. Then, there were gaps between the panes of glass in the space between the brass handrail and the floor.

Finally, the rail itself was wobbly and had sharp edges that could have cut someone, the Sun-Times reported.

In addition to the physical problems with the ramp, Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd) has complained that the money for the ramp was taken from the LaSalle-Central TIF without his permission, the Sun-Times reported. City officials justified the move by claiming the city does not need aldermanic consent to use TIF money for government buildings, the Sun-Times reported.

In a TIF district, property tax dollars for schools, parks, and other taxing districts are frozen for at least 23 years, so that all property tax increases afterward to go into a fund to improve struggling neighborhoods. But critics call them a slush fund for the mayor or the aldermen who control them.

City Department of General Services and fleet Management Commissioner David Reynolds insists the contractor, Darien-based Wight & Co., will have to absorb the extra costs, and they will not come out of taxpayer money, the Sun-Times reported.

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  • tom sharp

    TIFF funds: another “gift” from Da Ex-Mayor that is costing the taxpayers $ millions for wasteful political projects while letting Rahm et al to claim it is “legal.” TERM LIMITS OF ONE!!

    • rusty

      Handicap ramp = another Millenium Park.

  • the rapture

    Thanks for naming the contractor – note to self – don’t use this guy… does he use union guys???

    • THEE Yard Ape

      You can’t set foot on city property to do any construction unless you are a “qualified” union tradesman, or a minority contractor, and it that case they will turn a blind eye as to not make the natives restless.

  • C.J. Farrell

    Honestly: does a ramp *have* to cost $500,000? REALly???

    • Bill

      I would have built this ramp for the city for $300,000. That would have been a major savings.

      • Charles E Parker

        I can do it for $200,000. Wait what is this like bidding a contract????hummmm

  • German Leprechaun

    Fu@k the ADA! Whatever happened to the days when, if somebody in a wheelchair needed to get into a building, somebody would just HELP ‘EM navigate the stairs and hold the door open for ’em? These damn ramps everywhere are fuk’n useless!

    • Terry Bennington

      So from your perspective, people in wheelchairs or those using crutches/canes, should just stand-by waiting for some kind and caring person (such as yourself) offers assistance to get them into the building?

      I vote for the ramp. I somehow doubt you’d raise a finger to assist.

      • German Leprechaun

        What a stupid statement! You don’t even know who you’re addressing. I have — many times — helped disabled people. Show me a messed-up attitude like yours, though, and I’d just as soon leave you standing or sitting there! Sheesh.

      • Terry Bennington

        Lep: your statements “Fu@k the ADA” followed with “These damn ramps everywhere are fuk’n useless” tells me exactly who I’m talking to. Let’s see, how might you state it? Oh, yeah… someone who doesn’t have a Fu@kn’ clue!

    • Biff

      Don’t complain about the ADA, Mr. Leprechaun. One day I was perfect, the next day I was in a wheelchair. It happens that fast.

  • GO Southside

    Is there a happy ending at the end of the ramp, for it to cost that much.
    is it made out of gold or bedazzled with rhinestones. WTH.

  • Jerry O Henderson


  • http://www.cdobs.com/archive/syndicated/485000-project-from-hell-now-costs-even-more-at-city-hall/ Chicago Daily Observer » Blog Archive » $485,000 ‘project from hell’ now costs even more at City Hall

    […] Wheelchair Ramp Brings All Kinds Of Trouble At City Hall [CBS Local] […]

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