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Wheelchair Ramp Information

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  • Maximum slope for hand-propelled
    wheelchair ramps should be 1" of rise to every
    12" of length (4.8 degree angle; 8.3% grade).
  • Maximum slope for power chairs
    should be 1.5" rise to 12" length (7.1 degree
    angle; 12.5% grade).
  • Minimum width should be 36"
    (inside rails) – (48" is ideal).
  • The "deck" or surface of the
    ramp should be set down between a side-rail assembly such
    that there is about a 2" curb or lip along the edges
    of the ramp surface. Decking could consist of 1" X
    6" pressure treated pine, (or 3/4" pressure
    treated plywood applied to a frame).
  • If possible, the end of the deck (where
    it meets the lower ground surface) should be beveled to
    provide a smooth transition from the ramp to level
    ground. Alternatively, a sheet of 10 Ga. steel at least
    10" long and sized to fit the width of the ramp
    could be used to span the space between the deck surface
    and the walk or driveway surface at the end of the ramp. This piece should overlap the ramp deck by 2"
    and be fastened securely with 4 large countersunk
    flat-head wood screws.
  • A level platform of at least 5′ X 5′
    should be at the top of ramp to allow for wheelchair
    maneuvering. If the entranceway opens outward, there
    should be 1′ of surface area extending from the side of
    the door opening to allow motion to the side without
    backing the chair during door opening. This landing
    should not be considered part of the overall
    "run"/length of the ramp
    . Any turning point
    along the ramp needs a level landing. If the turn is a
    right angle (90 degrees), the landing should be a minimum
    of 5′ by 4′. If a "switchback" of 180 degrees
    is constructed, the level landing should measure at least
    5′ X 8′. Ramps longer than 30′ should provide a platform
    every 30′ for purposes of safety and to create
    opportunity for rest.
  • Hand rails should be provided for any
    ramp having a slope of more than 5% (i.e.- greater than
    1:12). These should extend an inch beyond the top and
    bottom of the ramp and should be located 32" from
    the ramp surface.
  • Buildings modified for accessibility
    should provide at least 2 remotely located accessible
    entrances for exit in case of emergency.
  • There should be no step or bump exceeding
    one-half inch at doors or thresholds and there should be
    a level area 5′ by 5′ at doors. 1′ to 1’6" space to
    the side of door on the pull side must be clear.
  • Slip resistant surfaces – carborundum
    grit, strips, rubber, sand sprinkled on wet paint, or
    rough ("broom finish") concrete are acceptable
  • Ramps should have a 5′ straight and level
    surface at the bottom to allow adequate stopping distance.