May Tram Diaries Part 2 - Road Work
The welcomed precipitation that granted soft landings for epic hucks and powder skiing into May has once again slowed construction of the new aerial tram.
Ten straight days of rain and clouds have left the roads saturated at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. These roads should be in tiptop condition as trucks with large pieces of metal, cable, tools and people drive up and down them. By the end of the rain days, crews already had to rebuild some of the roads.|
“We’re using extra large rock and a dirt-rock combination,” says Tim Mason, interim General Manager for Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. “We put mat down over the wet and muddy road surface. Then we lay down rock over the mat and finish with twelve to eighteen inches of pit run. This allows the water to drain down to the mat surface and off the road keeping dry material stable above the saturated soils to maintain road integrity.”
Crews reinforced some of the Laramie traverse so that it’s strong enough to hold the large trucks bringing in material for the new Tower 4.
“It’s unusual to have that many days consecutively without sun,” Mason says. “But, we’re staying on top of it.”
While rain pounded the Hole, snow still remains. Last week, crews moved about three feet off the top of the bowl. “Snow clearing is never ending,” Mason says.
Water-saturated roads had no effect on the concrete masters of the lower terminal, who finished pouring the North bollard. They are now taking down the forms from the massive pour and doing a few smaller pours before the lower terminal fills up with contractors. In June, about eight different contractors will be working on the lower terminal, outfitting it with essential parts from piping to electrical wiring.
As far as equipment, nearly all Tower equipment has safely arrived in Jackson; next shipment: top terminal material.
Towers Finished: Tower 1 and Tower 3.
Next up: Tower 2 or 4.
Because of deep snow cover and subsequent melting, the exposed tops of Tower 2 foundations had to be dug out by about 14 workers. They shoveled about six feet off to try to get to the ground. “Once you expose the ground next to the foundations, the melting goes faster,” Mason explains. “That only took a half a day, so we’re working on it.”
Tower 2 equipment waits at the bottom of Thunder. Crews disassembled old Tower 2 but need helicopter assistance to transport the material of the mountain. Mason expects work to crank up again in June. They just need a little bit of sunshine.