Palm Springs Aerial Tram has not been accessible since the Valentine’s Day storm because the road leading up to the tram, Tramway road, got completely destroyed.
On Friday, Granite Construction, the same company repairing several other roads destroyed by the storm, began its first day of work.
“Granite was busy, they had their hands full with the roads in the city,” Cara Youngman, the Public Relations Manager for the tram, said.
Youngman said from here on out, the main priority is reopening the road. That means clearing the culvert.
“It’s blocked with debris,” Youngman said. “We have boulders and trees that came down from the flood that has actually clogged the culvert causing the water to go over-top of it.”
The culvert typically funnels water safely down the mountain. After the flooding due to the clogged culvert, workers spent Friday packing down dirt and rocks so a new road can be paved on top.
“The road itself, we know, is about a 58-thousand-dollar repair,” Youngman said. “Of course, that’s determinant of what else is uncovered during the process of digging things out.”
Tramway road is a private road which means the repairs are a private cost on the tram, she said. Yet another expense in addition to the business they lose out on everyday from travelers.
“Our hearts are really going out to our guests that really want to come up here but unfortunately it’s just not safe,” Youngman said.
The tram doesn’t expect any setbacks when it comes to business long-term.
“We’ll work it out, once the road is repaired and we can get some other crews up there to do some other electrical work and things,” she said. “We’ll reopen as soon as we can. I have no date on that but after that I’m sure we’ll be business as usual.”
Helicopters will continue to transport tram employees to their offices at the top of the mountain. Youngman said nothing was damaged on the actual tram device or building but there is some debris and electrical issues they’re working out.