The Modern Woodmen Park Ferris wheel now has its ADA-accessible gondola, but an inspection needs to occur before the public can take it for a spin.
A crew installed the gondola onto the Ferris wheel at the Davenport ballpark Monday morning.
Davenport city engineer Brian Schadt said the specially made gondola can fit four people or one wheelchair with one companion, and the additional room around the chair is for the turning space as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act. The chairs are hinged and spring loaded to stay upright.
He said the gondola will be stopped at either side of the wheelchair-accessible loading zone and a plate ramp will be fixed to the gondola. The ramp will take up the clearance between the gondola and the platform.
"This existing gap could not be removed as this is factory-specified clearance during operation," Schadt said.
The wheelchair will then enter the ride and tie down to anchors, he said. A companion can then enter the gondola and use one of the other seats.
The city contracted with Crawford Co. of Rock Island to install the gondola for $39,690.
The improvement is being done because the Davenport Civil Rights Commission had threatened legal action last November against the Quad-Cities River Bandits; Chance Rides, a Wichita, Kan.-based manufacturing company; and Bracke, Hayes, Miller, Mahon Architects LLP of Moline.
The 110-foot Ferris wheel opened in 2014 at Modern Woodmen Park. The Ferris wheel and the stadium are owned by the city.
City leaders had said the gondola would be ready over the summer. Schadt said the delay was because critical parts for the doors that had to be back ordered.
Even though the River Bandits played their last home game Sept. 10, the Ferris wheel remains open to the public Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5 to 8 p.m. through October. The last day of operation will be on Halloween from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
In regard to when the ADA-accessible gondola will be open, Mike Clark, assistant general manager for amusements with the Quad-Cities River Bandits, said he is waiting on "final testing and adjusting" as well as state inspectors to review the work and could not confirm an opening date.