Chicago’s Willis Tower bays reopen after cracks

Glaziers from MTH Industries replace 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 on Thursday, May 29, 2014. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)
Glaziers from MTH Industries replace 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 on Thursday, May 29, 2014. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

CHICAGO (AP) — Popular 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.

This Wednesday, May 28, 2014 photo provided by Alejandro Galibay shows the cracked coating of one of the glass bay of The Ledge, a popular tourist attraction on the 103rd story of the Willis Tower in Chicago. (AP Photo/Alejandro Galibay)
(Cracked coating of one of the glass bay of The Ledge)

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 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 says Friday that 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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