ADAAG 4.1.6(1) Alterations.
(j) EXCEPTION: In alteration work, if compliance with 4.1.6 is technically infeasible,
the alteration shall provide accessibility to the maximum extent feasible. Any elements
or features of the building or facility that are being altered and can be made accessible
shall be made accessible within the scope of the alteration.
Technically infeasible. Means, with respect to an alteration of a building or facility, that it
has little likelihood of being accomplished because [...] site constraints prohibit
modification or addition of elements, spaces, or features that are in full and strict
compliance with the minimum requirements for new construction and which are
necessary to provide accessibility.
“What does ‘maximum extent
Occasionally, the nature of a facility makes it impossible to comply with all of the
alterations standards. In such a case, features must only be made accessible to the extent
that it is technically feasible to do so. The fact that adding accessibility features during
an alteration may increase costs does not mean compliance is technically infeasible. Cost
is not to be considered...”
--DOJ Title II Technical Assistance Manual
In downtown Auburn, AL a complying passageway was constructed along building
facades at a sidewalk elevation that eliminated steps at each shop entrance. The sidewalk
run at the curb was retained, with landscape elements separating the two. Ramps
connected the two levels at several points along the sidewalk.