MOUNT RUSHMORE NATIONAL MEMORIAL, S.D. – Beginning Wednesday, June 25, visitors to Mount Rushmore will glimpse part of the behind the scenes preparations that go into producing one of the nation’s highest rated fireworks shows. A state-of-the-art temporary rope tramway, used to ferry supplies to the top of the memorial, will be installed as crews ready the memorial for the annual Independence Day Celebration.
The tramway, which consists of a 660-foot highline rope and trolley pulley system, will temporarily connect the Presidential Trail at the base of the memorial to a tripod mounted atop the figure of President Roosevelt. Firework loads and equipment will be secured to the pulley and pulled to the top of the sculpture using an electrical winch. Parts of the Presidential Trail may be temporarily closed while loads are lifted up the mountain.
The highline rope and trolley system will be clearly visible to visitors during their stop at the memorial. The tram is being set up in the same location where a tram existed in the 1930s during construction of the sculpture. The tramway will remain in place through Friday, June 27. Following the celebration, the tramway will be reinstalled on July 5 to remove firework material from the top of the memorial on July 6 and 7. The Mount Rushmore National Memorial Society donated the funding for the tramway in 2006.
Additional information on the Independence Day Celebration is available on the park web site at www.nps.gov/moru or by calling (605) 574-2523 and pressing extension 5.