Tag Archives: department of transportation

Accessible Routes in the ADA Standards (Chapter 4 Part 1)

There are several kinds of accessible routes a building or facility must have, according to the Department of Transportation’s set of ADA Standards, of which all accessible routes must comply.

Accessible routes are required where there are site arrival points, accessible routes within a site, as well as accessible routes within a building or facility.

According to the United States Access Board, an “accessible route” is classified and defined as “a continuous unobstructed path connecting all accessible elements and spaces of a building or facility.”  Furthermore, it goes on to explain that these accessible routes can also be described as, and include, corridors, ramps, elevators, lifts, and the like.

Overall, accessible routes are all about allowing whatever or whoever travels throughout your site to access other parts and spaces easily via routes or paths.

Site Arrival Points

To meet the ADA Standards, it is a requirement that there is at least one accessible route that leads to accessible facility entrances.

Additionally, these routes must be provided from within the site.

From these site arrival points, there must also be accessible parking zones, accessible passenger loading zones, public streets and sidewalks, and each public transportation stop.

Accessible Routes Within a Site

Similar to the requirements for site arrival points, the ADA Standards require that accessible routes from within a site contain at least one route within the site boundary.

Additionally, this route must also originate from the site arrival points and must connect all accessible on-site buildings, facilities, elements, and spaces.

This is common sense.  If a site is going to have multiple buildings, therefore multiple accessible routes from within the facility’s grounds, it has to lead to or connect something.

Accessible Routes Within a Building or Facility

For routes available for access from inside a building or facility, there are yet another set of rules.

These internal routes must contain at least one fully accessible route that connects all the accessible spaces and elements around it.

Furthermore, for circulation paths, if one is interior, then the accessible route must also be interior.

Additionally, vertical interior circulation routes must be in the same location as stairs and escalators.  It is against the ADA Standards for a vertical interior circulation to be located separately in the back of a building or facility.

Accessible Routes Are an Important Part of Construction Sites and ADA Standards

To ensure that you have the proper routes and structure you need for your site, building, or facility, it is always best to reinforce ADA Standards within your construction team.

So, do your research, play by the rules, and create good, effective, and safe, accessible routes for your site.

An accessible route is all about getting someone from point A to point B.  By following the ADA Standards and making sure your facilities comply with them, it is guaranteed your visitors will get from their starting point to their destination with ease and safety.

Help with ADA Standards

Serving clients in New Jersey, New York and Eastern Pennsylvania, the experienced professionals at East Coast Paving and Site Development are prepared to help you achieve the standards for ADA compliance.

For additional questions about ADA compliance, contact the paving experts at East Coast Paving and Site Development at 732-329-3600 or email info@eccompanies.com.

Read more on this series:

The Ultimate Guide to ADA Compliance: Using the ADA Standards (Chapter 1)

Scoping Requirements and ADA Standards for New Construction (Chapter 2 Part 1)

Construction Alterations and the ADA Standards That Affect Them (Chapter 2 Part 2)

ADA Standards for Floor and Ground Surface Construction (Chapter 3)

ADA Standards for Floor and Ground Surface Construction (Chapter 3)

In construction, floor and ground surfaces are subject to the regulations of the ADA Standards, which form the base of the Department of Transportation.

These standards require specifications for floor and grounding surfaces, which address the surface characteristics, carpeting, openings, and changes in level.

These surfaces can be hazardous, and it is the Department of Transportation’s goal to prevent hazards and make them as minimal as possible.  Hence, these standards were born.

The standards apply to all four major aspects of surfaces:

  1. Interior and exterior accessible routes
  2. Stairways that are part of a means of egress
  3. Clearances that are required
  4. Parking spaces, aisles, and passenger loading zones that are all accessible

Additionally, the standards are based on the three key aspects that contribute to a safe and minimal hazardous surface: firmness, stability, and slip resistant.

As a result, the first and foremost standard is that all surfaces must be stable, firm, and slip resistant.

Slip Resistance

As part of the three major standards for flooring, all surfaces are required by the ADA Standards to be slip resistant.

This means that all surfaces accessible by the public must have some level of resistance to slipperiness to reduce hazards, especially to people with disabilities or injuries.

However, the ADA Standards fail to specify the minimum amount, or, level, of slip resistance a surface must have.  Therefore, there are several protocol tools to help determine or estimate the amount of slip resistance a floor contains.

To comply with the slip resistance regulations, a surface must specify three things:

  1. Surface materials
  2. Textures
  3. Finishes

These three things must be used to prevent slipperiness to the surface, especially in conditions it is likely to face.

To prove that a surface is slip resistant, it must clearly prove the provision of these three things to reduce the risk of hazards.

Firmness and Stability

Secondly, a floor or surface must be firm and stable.

Contributing to the firmness and stability of a surface are four main elements: surface smoothness, carpet, openings, and changes in level.

These elements determine the amount of firmness or stability a surface has, and each is subject to different standards.

First, to provide greater surface smoothness, there are limits placed on openings in floors and grounds by the ADA Standards.  However, they don’t specify the overall amount or level of smoothness a surface requires.

However, it is important to know that rough surfaces such as cobblestones and Belgian blocks can produce hazards and difficulty for mobility aids such as wheelchairs and crutches.

Secondly, carpet standards consist of a specific maximum height and texture a pile can have.

The maximum pile height is half of an inch (1/2), which is measured to the backing, cushion, or pad.

Additionally, the pile texture is required to obtain a level or texture loop, level cut pile, and firm backing.

Openings are subject to a maximum width, where the passage can fit a max of ½ a diameter sphere. 

Finally, changes in level are required to be only ¼ of an inch without treatment, but with it can be ½ if it is beveled with a maximum slope of 1:2.

Additionally, changes above ½ of an inch are required to be classified as a ramp.

Safety First Should Always Be the Motto of a Construction Project

Nothing is more important than keeping your workers and the people walking on your grounds and surfaces safe.

Take precautions and be sure to follow the ADA Standards step by step to ensure that your new facilities truly are the safest they can be.

Help with ADA Standards

Serving clients in New Jersey, New York and Eastern Pennsylvania, the experienced professionals at East Coast Paving and Site Development are prepared to help you achieve the standards for ADA compliance.

For additional questions about ADA compliance, contact the paving experts at East Coast Paving and Site Development at 732-329-3600 or email info@eccompanies.com.

Read more on this series:

The Ultimate Guide to ADA Compliance: Using the ADA Standards (Chapter 1)

Scoping Requirements and ADA Standards for New Construction (Chapter 2 Part 1)

Construction Alterations and the ADA Standards That Affect Them (Chapter 2 Part 2)

Accessible Routes in the ADA Standards (Chapter 4 Part 1)

Construction Alterations and the ADA Standards That Affect Them (Chapter 2 Part 2)

Alteration is something practically all construction sites and facilities undergo at some point or another.

The compliance and standards of these alterations are determined by certain scoping requirements, which are the bases of the 2010 ADA Standards of the Department of Justice and the ADA Standards of the Department of Transportation.

For the additions and alterations of pre existing facilities, the ADA Standards are applicable. 

These standards apply to the elements and/or spaces being altered or added.  Therefore, the extent of which the standards are applied is determined mainly by the project’s scope work.

However, it is important to be aware of the fact that for projects affecting the usage or accessibility to a space that contains a primary function, there are additional requirements and expectations.

So, without further ado, here are the ADA Standards for alterations to existing facilities and which projects apply to them.

What Exactly Is an Alteration?

According to Business Dictionary, an alteration can be defined as a “change that does not affect the basic character or structure of the thing it is applied to” in general terms.

The difference, you might be wondering, between an addition and an alteration is that an addition is welcoming a new space or element to a facility, while an alteration is simply making a small change.

The keyword here is “small”.  As discussed earlier, projects that affect areas containing primary functions to the facility are now subject to new rules and must comply with the ADA Standards for alterations.

There are seven major projects that are classified as alterations:

  1. Remodeling
  2. Renovation
  3. Rehabilitation
  4. Reconstruction
  5. Restoration
  6. Resurfacing
  7. Rearranging

As you might have picked up, the thing that all of these have in common is the fact that they simply change the existing facility for its benefit instead of adding to it or expanding it.

Additionally, things such as maintenance, reroofing or painting aren’t considered alterations, as there is really not much physical change that affects the productivity or purpose of the facility for its own good.

Alterations That Do Affect Usage or Accessibility

The one major requirement that the Department of Transportation ADA Standards set in place for alterations that affect areas of primary functions is that there is a path of travel.

Regardless of whether it is a new addition or an alteration that does or doesn’t affect usage and accessibility, there must be a safe path of travel.

This means that if an alteration affects another function, it still must contain a clear traveling path and now must comply with the ADA Standards for alterations.

Being Comfortable with the ADA Standards Will Result in a Safer and Surer Alteration Project

It is extremely important to ensure that all of your projects and facilities comply with the ADA Standards.

It is never fun to have the Department of Transportation on the back of your construction business and possibly costing you money or getting you into legal trouble.

So, know the expectations set for you, and strive to reach them with excellence and comply with standards for safety and peace.

Help with ADA Compliance

Serving clients in New Jersey, New York and Eastern Pennsylvania, the experienced professionals at East Coast Paving and Site Development are prepared to help you achieve the standards for ADA compliance.

For additional questions about ADA compliance, contact the paving experts at East Coast Paving and Site Development at 732-329-3600 or email info@eccompanies.com.

Read more on the series

The Ultimate Guide to ADA Compliance: Using the ADA Standards (Chapter 1)

Scoping Requirements and ADA Standards for New Construction (Chapter 2 Part 1)

ADA Standards for Floor and Ground Surface Construction (Chapter 3)

Accessible Routes in the ADA Standards (Chapter 4 Part 1)

Scoping Requirements and ADA Standards for New Construction (Chapter 2 Part 1)

In the construction world, there are many standards and requirements that dictate how a job must be done for specific tasks.

Construction work falls under two major categories: the Department of Justice and the Department of Transportation.  As a result, both of these two departments have their own rules and regulations applicable to the construction classified beneath them.

The regulations of the Department of Justice are referred to as the 2010 ADA Standards, and the Department of Transportation’s rules are governed simply by the ADA Standards.

Before beginning new construction under either of these two departments, it is vital to know the rules, regulations, and applications of both.

1. Scoping Requirements

“Scoping” is a term used very frequently in the construction industry, and it refers to the general way a construction job or project is going to be carried out under the signing of a specific contract.

Both the 2010 ADA Standards and the ADA Standards have different requirements for scoping construction.

Firstly, scoping requirements apply to four particular areas of construction.  These are elements, building, facility, and site.

Each is applicable by the Department of Justice’s 2010 ADA Standards and the Department of Transportation’s ADA Standards.

Additionally, there are other scoping requirements for technical provisions and covered elements and spaces that a site provides.

These elements and spaces are parking, means of egress, and plumbing fixtures.

For the 2010 ADA Standards, their requirements are determined by either building codes, design practices, or other factors.

The ADA Standards of the Department of Transportation, on the other hand, list the particular areas, elements, and spaces that are required to be accessible.

2. ADA Standards Application

The Department of Justice and the Department of Transportation both have a set of standards specifically for the application and accessibility of a new construction site.

As for the ADA Standards, requirements apply to all types of facilities, regardless of size or complexity.  This means that all facility sites, from simple, one-building facilities to complex sites containing multiple buildings, are all subject to the same rules.

These application regulations also apply to exterior and interior spaces, as well as all elements a site provides. 

Additionally, whether these sites are permanent or temporary does not matter.  The rules apply to both.

3. Accessibility Regulations

It is important to note that for all new construction, it is mandatory by the ADA Standards that all areas to be fully accessible, which normally means having multiple spaces of the same type.

However, the only three areas not required to be fully accessible or only partially accessible are as follows:

  1. Raised or limited usage spaces
  2. Specific employee work areas
  3. Spaces specifically for scoping provisions of which only particular portions are required to comply

The “particular portions” referred to in number three is areas such as dressing rooms or patient bedrooms, because they are only partially accessible.

Knowing the ADA Standards Ensures Your Construction Work Is Safe, Legal, and Successful

You never want to end up in a situation where you have the ADA on your back because you’ve fallen short of expectations!

Before starting your construction, take precautions and be fully aware of the laws and regulations applicable to your site.

This makes for a happy business, happy customers, and a happy Department of Transportation.

Help with ADA Compliance

Serving clients in New Jersey, New York and Eastern Pennsylvania, the experienced professionals at East Coast Paving and Site Development are prepared to help you achieve the standards for ADA compliance.

For additional questions about ADA compliance, contact the paving experts at East Coast Paving and Site Development at 732-329-3600 or email info@eccompanies.com.

Read more on this series:

The Ultimate Guide to ADA Compliance: Using the ADA Standards (Chapter 1)

Construction Alterations and the ADA Standards That Affect Them (Chapter 2 Part 2)

ADA Standards for Floor and Ground Surface Construction (Chapter 3)

Accessible Routes in the ADA Standards (Chapter 4 Part 1)