Contact: Ace Crawford, 605-574-3185
KEYSTONE, SD: The preservation team at Mount Rushmore National Memorial will be working on the faces starting Tuesday, October 11. The work will continue into the following week of October 17. Members of the preservation team will be visible on the faces and the mountain during this timeframe, and visitors can expect to see them conducting their work. All facilities will continue to be fully operational and open to visitors during this time. Portions of the popular Presidential Trail will close periodically, as equipment is moved using a part of the trail corridor.
The annual work conducted by the Memorial’s preservation team includes repairing sections of sealed fractures and equipment transfer using the rope highline system before winter weather arrives. This preservation work is done to protect the sculpture from the effects of the freeze-thaw process when water intrudes into the fractures in the mountain.
The annual preservation work is one phase of a larger long-term preservation plan for the sculpture. Utilizing new and developing technologies, this systematic approach to preservation builds upon past conservation work dating back to the time of artist Gutzon Borglum’s first efforts to seal and protect the Memorial.
The Mount Rushmore preservation team is composed of a wide variety of specialists from across park divisions and advisors to the project. The rope access technicians are trained to use a dual rope system where each technician is attached to a working line and a safety, backup line at all times while perform work directly on the surface of the sculpture. The Mount Rushmore team is the only certified industrial ropes team in the National Park Service.
Last updated: January 24, 2016