Scheduled maintenance on the secondary elevators at Carlsbad Caverns National Park will have them out of service for a few days this fall.
The secondary elevators, which are currently being used to carry visitors in and out of the cave, will be down on Monday and Tuesday while new brake linings are installed.
“The brakes are showing a little more wear and tear than usual since we used them all summer and they were our primary elevators,” park public affairs specialist Valerie Gohlke said.
Gohlke said the brakes were replaced at the beginning of the summer and usually last six months.
The new linings must be riveted on in a machine shop, which Gohlke said is in Albuquerque. The project will cost $3,000.
The hoist ropes are also scheduled to be replaced sometime in mid-October, which will take the elevators out of service for another 5 to 7 days.
The exact dates of that project remain uncertain.
Gohlke said they will also replace the passenger elevators’ hoist ropes during that time, though they will remain out of service. That project is expected to cost $125,000 including labor.
Gohlke said hoist ropes, which are actually steel cables, should be replaced at least every five years.
Gohlke said those were replaced in 2014. However, the increased use of the secondary elevators has again caused extra wear and tear.
Visitors may still hike in and out of the cave’s Natural Entrance while the elevators are out.
Maddy Hayden can be reached at 575-628-5512.