CARLSBAD — Structural steel beams will be reinforced and anchoring clips replaced in the secondary elevators at Carlsbad Caverns National Park Sept. 11 to 29. During those days, the park’s elevators will not be available for use.
JVA Consulting Engineers of Colorado determined that additional work was needed on the steel structure in the hoistway following a recent safety inspection by their engineer. After the steel replacement is completed, KONE USA of Albuquerque will inspect and realign the steel guide rails to ensure smooth elevator operation. KONE will also replace the second of two large control cables that travels up and down with the elevator. The first was replaced in August. The cables houses dozens of individual wires that provides electrical power, computer control signals, and telephone service to the elevators.
“Visitor and employee safety is our number one priority and we look forward to having this work completed and the elevators back in service again as quickly as possible for our fall and winter visitors,“ said Carlsbad Caverns National Park Superintendent Doug Neighbor.
While elevator service is temporarily suspended, visitors may still access the cavern by hiking in and out of the natural entrance on a self-guided tour. Due to the steep grade, the natural entrance is not accessible by visitors with mobility issues (no wheelchairs/walkers). In addition to the self-guided route, ranger-guided tours are also offered. Reservations for guided tours can be made at recreation.gov.
For more information on the status of the elevators, park regulations, visitation or park tours, call 575-785-2232 or visit nps.gov/cave. The park’s visitor center is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.