Carlsbad Caverns completes work on primary elevators | KOB 4

Carlsbad Caverns completes work on primary elevators

Casey Torres
August 06, 2018 05:45 PM

CARLSBAD, N.M. - For nearly three years, the Carlsbad Caverns National Park has had a few setbacks on a modernization project for two primary elevators.


On November 2015, a steel shaft broke, leaving the two main elevators out of service.

Two other back up elevators were undergoing inspection at the same time, so tourists couldn't use any of the four elevators for eight months.

Once the secondary elevators were done with inspection, they have been used until this year as an alternative to the one-hour hike down to the caverns.

On Monday, the park had a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the completion of the modernization project.

"Since July 2nd, elevators have been working good. they're smooth. They're quiet because they have a larger capacity," the park's superintendent, Doug Neighbor, said. "We haven't experienced the lines that we have in the past when we just had the secondary elevators."

The primary elevators can carry 16 people at a time, while the secondary elevators only carry 8. 

Neighbor said the steel was upgraded in 2008, so it was the only thing that wasn't changed.

"New elevator boxes, new machines, and new controllers brought up to modern standards and new code," Neighbor added. "All new ropes. Everything else in the pit was replaced, so it was all modernized."

Thomas Hootman has visited the park 10 times. He said the upgrades were worth the wait.

"These elevators are way faster, and it's nice. It's a nice direct shot from top to bottom," Hootman said.

Neighbor said the park plans on renovating the secondary elevators. He isn't sure how long that project will last, or when it will start, but there will be a meeting next week.


Casey Torres

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