Passenger Vessels Access Advisory Committee
Chapter 2 On/Off Accessible Routes
*Sections from the ADAAG Review Report referenced in this report that have not been reviewed or approved by the committee.
Note: This chapter only applies to passenger vessels subject to subchapters K or H, except where sections are referenced by chapter 12 which addresses subchapters C and T vessels.
1001 General. Where passenger vessels are positioned to embark/disembark passengers, the means of embarking/disembarking shall comply with the requirements of this chapter.
EXCEPTION: This chapter does not apply to embarkation/disembarkation between:
a. two or more vessels;
b. a vessel and the water;
c. a vessel and undeveloped land.
1002 Scope. At least one accessible means of embarking/disembarking passengers shall be provided to an entry/departure point of a passenger vessel and shall comply with 1003.
1003 Accessible Means of Embarkation and Disembarkation. Each accessible means of embarking and disembarking a passenger vessel shall consist of one or more of the following components:
a. walking surfaces complying with 403;
b. doors and doorways complying with 404;
c. ramps complying with 405;
d. elevators complying with 407;
e. platform (wheelchair) lifts complying with 408;
f. transfer spans complying with 1004; and
g. gangways complying with 1005.
1004 Transfer Spans
1004.1 General. A transfer span will typically bridge from the side of the vessel to a landing on essentially the same level. The purpose of the transfer span is to accommodate the motion differences between the vessel and the float or dock.
1004.2 Slope. The slope of the transfer span shall not exceed 1:20 at a static condition.
1004.3 Cross Slope. The cross slope shall not exceed 1:48.
1004.4 Deck Surfaces. The finished deck surface of the transfer span shall be continuous and slip resistant, and shall not have protrusions from the surface greater than ¼ inch (6.4 mm) high. Openings shall be of a size that does not permit passage of a ½ inch (13 mm) diameter sphere. Elongated openings shall be placed so that the long dimension is perpendicular to the dominant direction of travel.
1004.5 Clear Width. The clear width of transfer spans shall be no less than 36 inches (915 mm).
EXCEPTION: Where the main deck area of the vessel is less than 3,000 square feet (280 m2), a transfer span shall be permitted to have a clear width of 32 inches (815 mm) minimum.
1004.6 Handrails. Transfer spans longer than 24 inches (610 mm) shall have handrails complying with 505*.
1004.7 Edge Protection. Edge protection complying with 405.9.1 or 405.9.2 shall be provided on each side of the transfer spans.
1004.8 Design. Transfer spans 30 inches (760 mm) or longer shall support a minimum load of 600 lbs (272 kg). Placed at the centroid of the span distributed over an area of 26 inches (660 mm) by 26 inches (660 mm), with a safety factor of at least 3 based on the ultimate strength of the material. Transfer spans shorter than 30 inches (760 mm) shall support a minimum load of 300 lbs (136 kg).
1005.1 General. Gangways which are part of an accessible means of embarking\disembarking a vessel shall comply with this section. Gangways shall be permitted to have transition plates complying with 1006 at the top and bottom.
1005.2 Slope. The slope of a gangway provided at a pier shall comply with 1005.2.1 and the slope of a gangway carried on a vessel shall comply with 1005.2.2.
1005.2.1 Pier Provided Gangway - Slope. (See advisory comment in appendix to this chapter.)
1005.2.2 Vessel Carried Gangway - Slope. (See advisory comment in appendix to this chapter.)
Note: Slope measured when vessel is in a static condition at a particular water level.
1005.3 Cross Slope. Cross slope of gangways shall not be steeper than 1:48.
1005.4 Deck Surfaces. Finished deck surfaces of gangways shall comply with 302.
1005.5 Clear Width. The clear width between handrails shall be 36 inches (915 mm) minimum.
EXCEPTION: Where the main deck area of the vessel is less than 3,000 square feet (280 m2), a gangway shall be permitted to have a clear width of 32 inches (815 mm) minimum.
1005.6 Horizontal Gap. The horizontal gap between the transition plate and the ramp, or the deck edge and the ramp shall be no greater than 3 inches (75 mm).
1005.7 Handrails. Gangways shall have handrails complying with 505*.
1005.8 Edge Protection. Edge protection complying with 405.9.1 or 405.9.2 shall be provided on each side of gangways.
1005.9 Outdoor Conditions. Gangways shall be designed so that water will not accumulate on walking surfaces.
1006 Transition Plate
1006.1 Slope. The maximum slope of the transition plate is 1:12.
1006.2 Clear Width. The clear width shall be 32 inches (815 mm) minimum.
1006.3 Handrails. If the run of the transition plate exceeds 24 inches (610 mm), it shall have handrails complying with 505*. Where such handrails are provided, a sleeved chain will connect the gripping surface of the gangway handrails with the gripping surface of the transition plate handrails.
1006.4 Thresholds. The transition from the landing surface to the transition plate may be vertical without edge treatment up to ¼ inch (6.4 mm). Changes in level between ¼ inch (6.4 mm) and ½ inch (13 mm) shall be beveled with a slope no greater than 1:2.
1006.5 Edge Protection. If the run of the transition plate exceeds 24 inches a guard, curb, or barrier complying with 405.9.2 shall be provided.
1006.6 Design. Where a transition plate is 36 inches (915 mm) or less in length, the transition plate shall support a minimum load of 300 lbs (136 kg). Where the length of a transition plate is greater than 36 inches (915 mm), the transition plate shall support a minimum load of 100 lbs per square foot (4.8 kg/m2).
Chapter 2, Appendix A:
A1005.2 Gangway Slope
Mean Accessible Low Water (MALW): Lowest water level designated for designing accessible paths of travel connecting vessels with piers or undeveloped shore landings. MALW is to be established for each location based on an annual compliance percentage that is to be established for water level change categories that are to be established based on economic data (see footnote next page) yet to be developed.
Mean Accessible High Water (MAHW): Highest water level designated for designing accessible paths of travel connecting vessels with piers or undeveloped shore landings. MAHW is to be established for each location based on an annual compliance percentage that is to be established for water level change categories that are to be established based on economic data (1) yet to be developed.
Gangway: That portion of a path of travel which changes slope to accommodate changes in water level other than wave, surge, and heel action. (From the C & T Final Report.)
Accessible Gangway Slope Design Range: The vertical change in water level, during periods of use, between MALW and MAHW.
Advisory note: This section is advisory regarding a proposed design criteria for the design of gangways (specifically length and slope). The committee, upon review of the issues involved, determined that the necessary economic and physical data to further develop this proposed design criteria were not readily available.
Gangway Design Criteria:
- Gangways may exceed a rise of 30 inches (760 mm) between level landings. Landings are not required within gangways.
- Gangways may exceed a length of 30 feet (9145 mm) between level landings, provided the gangway slope at MALW and MAHW does not exceed that allowed in figure (e.g., the proposed graph of gangway length vs. gangway slope below). (Note: The allowable slope of gangways should be related to the allowable length, such that shorter gangways may be steeper than longer gangways.)
- There should be an exception to the allowable slope of gangways that are permanently attached to, or carried aboard vessels (such as riverboat stages), when the gangway is used to span between the vessel and undeveloped shore landings. (Proposed advisory: Vessel operators should make reasonable efforts to use shore locations that will result in the least gangway slope feasible.)
- At water levels above and below the accessible gangway slope design range, the gangway slope shall not exceed 1:8 (12.5percent) during periods of use. (Advisory: The maximum allowable slope for non-accessible ramps in U.S. model building codes is 1:8 (12.5 percent).
Exception: Water levels above Ordinary High Water (OHW), (such as is established by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) of inland waterways are exempt from this requirement and are not required to be included in water levels above the accessible gangway slope design range.
This will be impacted by operational restrictions based on high and low water situations. (For example, extreme low water may prevent safe navigation to and from the vessel loading location, due to inadequate water depth or other navigational clearance issues such as clearance below fixed structures such as bridges.)
Note: A new section defining and allowing inclined gangway lifts should be added to the guidelines. This would include such systems as the Ramp Rider or other similar equipment that provide accessible means to accommodate variable level changes.
1. The economic analysis should evaluate and be based on the difference in cost of similarly constructed accessible and non-accessible gangways and ramps for a given location and accessible gangway slope design range. This cost difference should then be compared to and related to the value (not the size) of the facilities the gangway / ramp system serves. The current ADAAG vertical access requirement differences between Title II and Title III facilities should also be maintained.