Palm Springs Aerial Tramway Could Be Closed Until April Following Flood Damage

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway Could Be Closed Until April Following Flood Damage

News Staff

The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway may not reopen until April 1 following its closure due to a barrage of rain that knocked out the attraction’s only roadway access point on Valentine’s Day, officials announced Monday.

The washed-out road is expected to be repaired by the end of this week, but a Feb. 19 assessment found that the main power line was damaged, along with the Valley Station water tank and Mountain Station roof, said Cara Youngman, the vice president of marketing & Public Affairs for the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

The Mountain Station and Valley Station’s fire suppression system are both temporarily out of service due to the main power line damage, Youngman said. Contractors are scheduled to begin repairs, although a specific timeline was not specified.

In addition to the power being out at the attraction, the intake valve to the Valley Station water tank is blocked, limiting the availability of potable water.

Officials originally believed only the road was damaged following the storm.

Collectively the repairs are expected to be completed by March 31, which would allow for the April 1 reopening.

“We hope, however, that the work can be completed sooner thus permitting an earlier reopening,” Youngman said.

Following the Valentine’s Day storm, a series of roads were closed throughout the desert area due to mud and debris from the heavy rain, which also caused some rockslides.

The closures included the stretch of Highway 111 between Interstate 10 and Overture Drive in both directions in Palm Springs and portions of Gene Autry Trail, Indian Canyon Road at the wash, Farrell Drive and El Cielo Drive.

At least three sections of state Route 243 between Banning and Idyllwild were compromised because of storm runoff, said Terri Kasinga of Caltrans District 8. Storm runoff opened a massive sinkhole that washed away most of the pavement in one section.

The mountain highway remains closed to through traffic and likely will remain out of service for the rest of the month, Caltrans officials said.