HONOLULU – Tours through the interior of the ‘Iolani Palace State Monument will be available for visitors with mobility impairments once again, starting today. Visitors that require assistance at stairs, may request to use the newly installed inclined platform lift to join family and friends as they take a Palace Tour. Located along the Diamond Head stairs, the lift can accommodate a person in their wheelchair. For individuals with other mobility devices, they can sit on a foldaway seat while the lift is in motion.
“The need to replace and upgrade the lift is a testament to its heavy use and how important it is for everyone to be able to experience the interior of ‘Iolani Palace.” said Curt Cottrell, State Parks administrator. “We are definitely grateful to the Legislature for supporting this project. It’s allowing technology to provide this access without distracting from the character of this very historic landmark.”
“Visitors who have difficulty using stairs will once again be able to experience ‘Iolani Palace in all its splendor.” said Kippen de Alba Chu, executive director for The Friends of ‘Iolani Palace.
Updating the platform lift required complying with the new Americans with Disability Act standards and platform lift regulations. Providing a sustainable platform lift was an important criteria to ensure future continued operation. New features include durable stainless steel construction throughout, improved safety features, increased performance specifications, incorporated latest incline platform lift technology, and revised maintenance support requirements.
This project’s construction contract was awarded to Kaikor Construction Co., Inc. with their bid of $265,900. They began on May 20, 2016 with the demolition of the previous platform lift. While awaiting fabrication and delivery of the new lift, other Palace ground improvements were made. These included enlarging the top landing for required maneuvering clearances, changing grades of the pavement for drainage, repairing spots on the Palace’s steps and moat walls, and maintaining a route that is compliant to the new accessibility standards.
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*About the Savaria Omega Inclined Platform Lift
The Savaria Omega inclined platform is designed for access over stairs with multiple levels, curves or intermediate landings. This lift carries a passenger with wheelchair up and down stairs by travelling along a rail system mounted alongside the stairs.
An alternative to an elevator or vertical platform lift, the Omega requires minimal construction. The foldaway platform allows full access to the stairs when the lift is not in use. Flexible for many types of installations, including inside and outside curves, spiral stairs and multiple levels, the Savaria Omega is custom built to specifications. The available ADA-compliant platform includes a fold out seat and audio visual movement alarm to meet public building access requirements.
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