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Release date: March 14, 2008
Contact: Frank Mares 314-655-1600
National Park Service Re-opens Gateway Arch Tram
St. Louis, Missouri – Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Acting Superintendent Frank Mares today announced the re-opening of the tram in the south leg of the Gateway Arch on Friday, March 14.
On July 21, 2007, one of the nine cables that hoist the tram failed and caused a shutdown of the tram system. While the tram in the north leg of the Arch has continued to operate as normal, the south leg tram system has been undergoing review and repair.
Maida Engineering Inc., of Fort Washington Pennsylvania was retained to provide analysis and recommendations to repair and ensure the safety of the system. Following six months of investigation and analysis the team from Maida concluded there was not a single cause for the cable failure, but rather several factors in the area where the cable attaches to the counterweight that led to the incident.
“We would like to thank Maida Engineering for their thorough investigation of our system,” commented Acting Superintendent Mares. “We have confidence in their conclusions and have implemented their recommendations. The south tram is now ready to be placed back into operation.”
Recommendations from Maida included specifications for increasing clearances between shackles, harder shackle pins, and using a different lubricant for the connection between the shackle and the counterweight hitch. “While these are technical corrections, the bottom line is that Maida has certified that the tram system is safe to operate. The safety of our visitors and employees is our primary concern,” concluded Mares.
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NOTE: Acting Superintendent Frank Mares will be available on 3/14 from 9:00 am – 11:00 am to answer questions from the media regarding this press release.