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Thursday 28 August 2014

Observation ledges at Chicago's Willis Tower have reopened - following cracked glass saga

Published 30/05/2014 | 22:35

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Glaziers from MTH Industries finish replacing a layer of protective coating over the glass surface on the floor of one of four transparent ledges that jut out from the 103rd floor of the Willis Tower in Chicago. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)
The see-through glass bays known as The Ledge were designed with a protective coating that completely covers all glass surfaces to protect against scratches. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)
One of the coatings cracked Wednesday night when a family was standing on it. Officials say the family wasn't in danger and the coating does not affect the structural integrity of the enclosure. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

Observation ledges at Chicago's Willis Tower have reopened after the towering glass bays were closed for inspection when they appeared to crack beneath visitors' feet.

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The Willis Tower temporarily limited access to the bays, known as The Ledge, on Thursday for routine inspection.

The rest of the Skydeck on the 103rd floor of the building, formerly known as the Sears Tower, remained opened.

The glass itself didn't crack on Wednesday night and officials say visitors were never in danger.

Instead, a protective coating covering the glass produced the spider web of cracks.

A spokesman said all four bays are open.

The ledges first opened in 2009 and attract visitors in part because walking onto them allows the disconcerting feeling of stepping onto air, hundreds of feet above ground.

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