Route 66 News

Cracks appear on Skydeck Ledge of Willis Tower

Cracks spidered on the transparent floor of a Skydeck Ledge of Chicago’s Willis Tower, formerly known as the Sears Tower, after visitors stood on it 103 floors above ground level, according to various media reports.

The NBC affiliate in Chicago posted this video:

The Chicago Tribune reported:

“I had my palms on the floor and I could feel it cracking,” said Garibay, who was posing for pictures at the time with his brother and two cousins. “Honestly, I was in shock, in disbelief. I was scared.”

But he was never in any danger, according to Willis Tower officials, who said Thursday that only a protective coating cracked and the three half-inch-thick layers of glass underneath remained intact and still capable of holding five tons. The coating is about 1/8 of an inch thick.

“This protective coating occasionally cracks,” said Willis Tower spokesman Bill Utter. “Usually when someone has something sharp in their pocket and it gets poked. It did what it was designed to do.”

Skydeck Ledge is closed for inspections, but is expected to reopen later today.

Skydeck Ledge opened in 2009, and features 1 1/2-inch thick glass that juts out about 4 feet from the building.

Here’s Skydeck’s official video:

One of the most memorable moments of Skydeck Ledge occurred during “Billy Connolly’s Route 66” television miniseries. If the embedding doesn’t work, skip ahead to the 11-minute mark:

The Willis Tower stands just a few blocks west of the beginning of westbound Route 66.

(Image of looking down from the Willis Tower’s Skydeck Ledge by geekoftheweek via Flickr)


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