PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) - We've got just one word for anyone-- of any height-- using the brand new Market Street stairs: Duck!
The Delaware River Waterfront Corporation's $625,000 project to improve access to Penn's Landing from Market street by replacing the stairs and adding a wheelchair ramp is months behind schedule and now, FOX 29 has discovered a major design flaw that could leave taller visitors nursing a headache.
"Somebody's going to hit themselves," said Waterfront resident Chris Darling. "You're asking for a lawsuit."
Standard building code calls for a 6-foot, 8-inch clearance above a flight of stairs. But on the second of three flights at this site, clearance ranges from an even six feet, to 6 foot 5 inches.
And if the collision of forehead and concrete leaves you dazed, it's an 18 foot fall to the sidewalk below.
At a minimum, the low-bridge could cost you your ball cap. Sean Clothier of Aston, PA assured us he steers clear of stovepipe hats.
"No, I've limited my Abraham Lincoln impersonations, so I'm safe."
The whole stair-and-ramp upgrade is ridiculously behind schedule. A weather-beaten sign on site promises completion of the project by last November 30th.
But the ramp is still incomplete, leaving Peter Arvin to hump his grand-daughter's stroller up and down the stair each day.
"I think they are lazy, you know?" Said Arvin when asked about the long overdue project. "Too long."
At ground level, a concrete overhang is also well below the 6-8 ceiling. A fact not missed by the joggers who come through here.
"We were just talking that it seems very low," said 5-foot-11 inch Madeleine Keough of Center City.
"I'm not that tall. If I noticed it, then other people would notice it too."
Ben Parman says he IS freakishly tall: 6-5 in boots. He's visiting Philly from Milwaukee, so we warned him about the dangers for the tallest among us.
"Yeah, well, then, no super models here then. That's a bummer, right? We all need more super models."
The DRWC returned our calls late Tuesday afternoon, and made clear they were unaware of the low-ceiling problem until we brought it to their attention. They promised more information on a possible fix by Wednesday morning. Until then, keep your head down!