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Contact: Blaine Kortemeyer, 605-574-3170
Keystone, South Dakota – Friday, February 17th, members of the Mount Rushmore National Memorial Preservation Team and engineers from RESPEC Engineering from Rapid City, South Dakota, will be performing monitor maintenance on the face of the sculpture. The National Park Service is in the middle of an up to 5 year contract with RESPEC engineering. The local company is providing rock block monitoring technical assistance.
Members of the preservation team will be visible on the faces and the mountain. All facilities will continue to be fully operational and open to visitors during this time. The Presidential Trail is closed because of unsafe conditions of persistent snow and ice. The Preservation Team members will be replacing fiber optic line which will enhance communication from the monitors.
"The Mount Rushmore Sculpture Preservation Team is the only certified industrial rope access team in the National Park Service. “The focus of their certification and training is on safely and efficiently moving around on the face of the sculpture," stated Acting Superintendent Kammerer. "The installation of updated fiber optic line will provide enhanced communication within the rock block monitoring system."
The Mount Rushmore preservation team is composed of a wide variety of specialists from across park divisions. 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 performing work directly on the surface of the sculpture.
For additional park information, please visit Mount Rushmore National Memorial’s official website at www.nps.gov/moru or call (605) 574-2523.