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Contact: Bradley Block, 605-673-8330
The postponed condition assessment of the elevators and elevator shaft from this past January at Jewel Cave is back on track. Elevator technicians and park staff will be assessing the elevator components from February 27 through March 3 and again from March 13 to 17. Unfortunately, during those dates, cave tours will not be available.
“The Monument’s elevator system is over 40 years old and has experienced routine wear and tear,” Superintendent Bonnie Schwartz said. “Like any mechanical item, the time has come to assess the current system. If improvements or upgrades are needed, we can plan accordingly for the future.”
This assessment project is the first step toward determining the current condition of the elevator system and what is needed to provide for its long-term viability. “We are working hard to complete this project safely and as quickly as possible to ensure cave access later this spring and for the long term,” Schwartz further stated.
Beginning on Monday, February 27, there will be no cave tours except on Saturdays and Sundays, including March 4, 5, 11, and 12. Schwartz commented, “We anticipate offering an expanded tour schedule starting March 18. Yet, for those planning a trip to the Monument during the month of March, we still encourage planning ahead and contacting the Monument for tour availability, as well as added educational programs and special events.”
For more information and daily updates of available tours, contact the visitor center at (605) 673-8300. Specific tour information can be found online at www.nps.gov/jeca. Interested visitors are also welcome to follow the Monument using social media at www.facebook.com/JewelCaveNPS or www.instagram.com/jewelcavenps.