February 22, 2011

Sugarloaf chairlift is reopened

The Spillway East lift that derailed on Dec. 28 completes a series of tests and inspections.

By Ann S. Kim akim@mainetoday.com
Staff Writer

Sugarloaf USA's Spillway East chairlift is open to the public again.

The chairlift that derailed Dec. 28 reopened Monday afternoon following the completion of testing and inspections.

The testing revealed no operational concerns, and the chief inspector of the state Board of Elevator and Tramway Safety reinstated the operating license for the lift Monday morning, according to a statement released by the Carrabassett Valley ski area.

Sugarloaf's lift maintenance staff, along with independent lift engineers and members of the Tramway Board, performed a dynamic load test of Spillway East on Friday and completed inspections over the weekend.

The dynamic load test simulated the operation of a fully loaded lift, using water-filled plastic-lined boxes to simulate passenger weight. The lift was loaded to 100 percent of a standard load weight, or about 368 pounds per chair in 74 chairs on the lift's uphill side.

Technicians tested the lift's drive, electrical and brake systems in addition to monitoring the machinery as it ran at normal speed for more than three hours.

Sugarloaf General Manager John Diller thanked the tramway board, the insurance company engineers and others who have worked to inspect the lift.

"With their assistance we are able to reopen Spillway East and can be confident that it will provide the reliable transportation that our guests expect," Diller said in the statement.

The Tramway Board has not released its final report with the cause of the derailment.


Staff Writer Ann S. Kim can be contacted at 791-6383 or at: akim@pressherald.com


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