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Elevating Danger

An uninspected elevator sends ripples of fear through City Hall. Sort of.


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Beware all ye who enter City Hall — at least if ye plan any business requiring a trip in ye olde elevator.

The building's six elevators tasked with saving citizens, politicians and bureaucrats an excruciating stair climb to the snack machines on the 18th floor observation deck — and all points between — are a wee bit overdue for their safety inspection.

As of May 29, the inspection forms posted in each elevator displayed an expiration date of March 30. That is to say, if the building's elevators were a dairy product, they'd smell a bit ripe right about now.

Aÿ“I'm not overly surprised that some city properties are in arrears on their inspections,” says Chuck Bailey, a senior vice president with Virginia Elevator who also is a certified inspector. “The city, as far as their inspection procedures and policies, have been pretty fluid over the years. Sometimes things fall through the cracks, apparently.”

Failing to maintain up-to-date inspections is a big deal, Bailey says, citing the uniform state building code as well as the city's own blustery approach to businesses that have fallen behind.

It's not so much that the elevators are past due on inspection, city spokeswoman Tammy Hawley says, but that they didn't quite pass their scheduled inspection six weeks ago.

“There were a few deficiencies,” Hawley says, though “those deficiencies were corrected.”

Even if the new inspection certificates are in the mail, it's unclear whether posting an expired certificate is sufficient. “It's a bit minor if the tests are up-to-date,” Bailey says, “but the law nonetheless.”


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