CHAPTER 118

FORMERLY

SENATE BILL NO. 264

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 69, PART VI, TITLE 29 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO PUBLIC WORKS BY STATE AGENCIES AND PROVIDING CERTAIN STANDARDS OF CONSTRUCTION FOR THE PROTECTION OF PHYSICALLY HANDICAPPED PERSONS.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware:

Section 1. Amend §6918, Chapter 69, Title 29 of the Delaware Code by repealing said section in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

Every public works contract awarded by the State or any political subdivision thereof on or after the effective date of June 30, 1973, dealing with the construction, alteration, remodeling, renovation or repair of any public building or building in which public funds are involved shall require construction performed pursuant to the contract to conform to the standards set forth in paragraphs (a) through (n) hereof. Compliance with these requirements shall be enforced by the Secretary of the Department of Administrative Services.

A waiver may be granted by the Secretary of the Department of Administrative Services in any of the requirements set forth in paragraphs (a) through (n) hereof for good and sufficient reasons stated in writing concerning severe economic hardship to the State or to the political subdivision involved in relation to the public interest sought to be protected by this statute only after approval of said request has been obtained by the Secretary of the Department of Administrative Services by the majority vote of a review committee consisting of three members with one member being appointed by the Secretary of the Department of Administrative Services, one member being appointed by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Social Services and one member being appointed by the Secretary of the Department of Labor. The members of the review committee shall serve without compensation, shall be employed by the Department from which he or she is appointed and shall serve at the pleasure of the appointing Secretary.

Alterations, remodeling, renovations, repairs or forms thereof, shall not be construed to include any work on any area, facility, or part of an edifice, building or structure if the area, facility, or part is not regulated by the standards of this statute.

"Building" means an edifice or structure which is designated primarily for human use and occupancy which is:

(1) constructed after, or being constructed on, the effective date of this statute;

(2) altered, remodeled, renovated, or repaired after, or being altered, remodeled, renovated, or repaired on, the effective date of this statute.

"Public building" means any building all or part of which is usually held open to the public and which is owned, rented, or to be rented by, any governmental unit.

"Governmental unit" means the State government or any agency, department or political subdivision of the State government, or any agency or department of a political subdivision of the State government.

(a) Public walks shall be at least 48 inches wide and shall have a gradient not greater than 5 percent. These walks shall be of a continuing common surface, not interrupted by steps or abrupt changes in level. Wherever walks cross other walks, driveways, or parking lots, they shall blend to a common level. A walk shall have a level platform at the top which is at least 5 feet by 5 feet, if a door swings out onto the platform or toward the walk. This platform shall extend at least 1 foot beyond each side of the doorway. A walk shall have a level platform at least 3 feet deep and 5 feet wide, if the door does not swing onto the platform or toward the walk. This platform shall extend at least 1 foot beyond each side of the doorway.

(b) At least one parking area shall be made accessible to the building by either placing it at the grade level of the building or providing ramps at curbs or steps between the parking area and the building. An adequate parking space shall be one that is set aside and identified for use by individuals with physical disabilities and that is open on one side and which allows room for individuals in wheelchairs or individuals on braces and crutches to get in and out of an automobile on to a level surface, suitable for wheeling and walking. Parking spaces for individuals with physical disabilities' when placed between two conventional diagonal or head-on parking spaces shall be 12 feet wide.

(c) Where ramps with gradients are necessary or desired, they shall conform to the following specifications:

(1) The ramps shall not have a slope greater than one foot rise in 12 feet, or 8.33 percent, or 4 degrees 50 minutes.

(2) The ramp shall have handrails on at least one side, and preferably 2 sides. The top of handrails shall be 32 inches above the surface of the ramp and shall extend one foot beyond the top and bottom of the ramp.

(3) The ramp shall be at least 32 inches wide (inside clear measurements) and have a surface that is nonslip.

(4) If a door swings out onto the platform, the ramp shall be at least 5 feet by 5 feet. This platform shall be clear of the door frame.

(5) If the door does not swing onto the platform or toward the ramp, this platform shall be at least 3 feet deep and 5 feet wide. This platform shall be clear of the door frame.

(0) The bottom of the ramp shall have at least a 6 foot level run.

(0) Where the ramp exceeds 30 feet in length, level platforms shall be provided at 30 foot intervals. Level platforms shall also be provided at turns in the ramp. Platforms shall be at least 32 inches wide by 5 feet long.

(d) At least one primary entrance to each building shall be accessible and usable by individuals in wheelchairs. At least one entrance shall be accessible to and usable by individuals in wheelchairs to provide access to elevators either on a level plane or by a ramp.

Doors shall have a clear opening of no less than 32 inches when open and shall be operable by a single effort. The floor on the inside and outside of each doorway shall be level for a distance of 5 feet from the door and shall extend 1 foot beyond each jamb of the door. Sharp inclines and abrupt changes in level shall be avoided at doorsills. Thresholds shall be flush with the floor.

(e) Steps in stairs shall be designed and built without abrupt (square) nosing. Stairs shall have handrails 32 inches high as measured from the tread at the face of the riser. Stairs shall have at least one handrail that extends at least 18 inches beyond the top step and beyond the bottom step. Steps shall have risers that do not exceed 7.5 inches.

(f) Floors shall have surfaces that are nonslip. Floors on the same story shall be of a common level throughout or be connected by a ramp in accordance with subsection (c) of this section.

(g) (1) Toilet rooms shall be accessible to, and usable by the physically handicapped and shall have space to allow traffic of individuals in wheelchairs.

(2) toilet rooms shall have at least one toilet stall that:

(i) is 3 feet wide;

(ii) is at least 4 feet 8 inches, preferably 5 feet deep ;

() has a door (where doors are used) that is 32 inches wide and swings out;

() has handrails on each side, 33 inches high and parallel to the floor, 11/2 inches in outside diameter, with 11/2 inches clearance between rail and wall, and fastened securely at ends and center; and

(i) has a water closet with the seat 19 to 21 inches from the floor.

(3) Toilet rooms shall have lavatories with narrow aprons, which when mounted at standard height are usable by individuals in wheelchairs ; or shall have lavatories mounted higher, when particular designs demand, so that they are usable by individuals in wheelchairs.

(4) Mirrors and shelves shall be provided above lavatories at a height as low as practicable and no higher than 40 inches above the floor, measured from the top of the shelf and the bottom of the mirror.

(5) Toilet rooms for men shall have an appropriate number of wall-mounted urinals with the opening of the basin 17-20 inches from the floor, or shall have floor-mounted urinals that are on a level with the main floor of the toilet room.

(6) Toilet rooms shall have an appropriate number of towel racks, towel dispensers, and other dispensers and disposal units mounted no higher than 40 inches from the floor.

(h) An appropriate number of water fountains or other water-dispensing means shall be accessible to, and usable by, the physically disabled. Water fountains or coolers shall have upfront spouts and controls and be hand-operated or hand-and-foot operated.

(i) Elevators shall be provided and shall be accessible to and usable by a physically handicapped individual at all levels normally used by the general public. Elevators shall allow for traffic by wheelchair.

(j) Switches and controls for light, windows, draperies, elevators, fire alarms, and all similar controls of frequent or essential use, shall be placed within the reach of individuals in wheelchairs.

(k) (1) Every effort shall be exercised to obviate hazards to individuals with physical disabilities.

(2) Access panels to manholes in floors, walks and walls shall be avoided where possible.

(3) Where manholes or access panels are open and in use or when an open excavation exists on a site, barricades shall be placed on all open sides at least 8 feet from the hazard and warning devices shall be installed in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (1) of this statute.

(4) Low-hanging door closers that are within the opening of a doorway when the door is open or that protrude into regular corridors or traffic ways when the door is closed are prohibited.

(5) Signs, ceiling lights and similar objects and fixtures that protrude into regular corridors or traffic ways shall be at least 7 feet above the floor.

(6) Hand-operated fire extinguishers where required shall be placed within reach of individuals in wheelchairs.

(1) (1) Audible warning signals shall be accompanied by simultaneous visual signals for the benefit of those with hearing disabilities.

(2) Visual signals shall be accompanied by simultaneous audible signals for the benefit of the blind.

(m) Raised letters or numbers, in braille, shall be used to identify rest rooms, exits, and any other essential facilities, including telephones. Doors that are not intended for normal use, and that are dangerous if a blind person were to exit or enter by them, shall be made quickly identifiable to the touch by knurling the door handle or knob.

(n) (1) An appropriate number of public telephones shall be made accessible to, and usable by, the physically disabled.

(2) Those telephones shall be placed so that the dial and the 'handset can be reached by individuals in wheelchairs.

(3) An appropriate number of public telephones shall be equipped for those with hearing disabilities and so identified with instructions for use.

Approved June 28, 1973.