Howelsen Hill repairs commence | SteamboatToday.com

Howelsen Hill repairs commence

Scott Franz

Crews have started to stabilize the soil around the lift towers on Howelsen Hill in the wake of a spring landslide.

— Crews have set up shop on the saddle of Howelsen Hill to start the very technical job of getting the Barrows Chairlift up and running again.

One of the towers on the chairlift was moved by a spring landslide, while another tower on a steep face of the hill is at risk of shifting in the wake of the slide.

Crews with GeoStabilizaiton International will use a technique called soil nailing around the lift towers to secure them.

After the soils are stabilized around the towers, a new foundation will be poured for tower No. 6, and a crane will be used to relocate the tower.

Craig Robinson, the city’s parks, open space and trails manager, said the city is hoping that phase 1 of the project can begin next week.

The city estimated in June the work on the towers would cost $267,000 to complete.

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Still looming is the question of how the city will address the landslide itself.

The current construction project only addresses the landslide’s impact on the chairlift towers.

“We’re still working on what the next best steps are for the slide,” Robinson said, adding it has yet to be determined what’s causing it. “We’re trying to see if there’s a bigger, one-time fix, if there is such a thing.”

The tower repairs are expected to take weeks to complete.

Robinson said the city should have a better idea of the potential completion date in the next two weeks.

Meanwhile, the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club has already started to repair the Alpine Slide, a popular summer attraction on Howelsen that also was damaged by shifting earth in the spring.

Robinson said work was done to stabilize the ground underneath displaced tracks, and the tracks can be put back together.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10