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Willis Tower is getting faster, greener elevators

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The upgrade could see travel times within the 110-story building cut by 30 percent

The skyscraper’s elevators will get 64 miles worth of new cable.

As part of an ongoing $500 million renovation project, Chicago’s iconic Willis Tower is getting an extensive upgrade to its all-important elevator network—a system the completes a staggering 42,247 trips each day.

Starting in June, Otis Elevator will begin modernizing the skyscraper’s 97 passenger cars, its 64 miles of cable (long enough to stretch between Chicago and Kenosha, Wisconsin), and all related mechanical and control systems.

For the 5.8 million people who ride in Willis Tower’s elevators each year, the improvements will reduce travel times by up to 30 percent. The changes will also cut energy usage by 35 percent.

The undertaking represents the first comprehensive elevator overhaul since the 1,450-foot-tall building, originally known as the Sears Tower, opened in 1973. It is expected to take five years to complete.

The infrastructure improvements will be joined by new (and arguably much needed) wayfinding effort to eliminate some of the confusion posed by the building’s maze-like checkpoints and elevator lobbies.

Willis Tower

233 South Wacker Drive, , IL 60606 Visit Website