On Tuesday, inspectors from the New York State Department of Labor performed required load tests on Big Tupper’s Lift 3. The lift, crucial to Big Tupper’s operation this winter, passed every test performed.
To load test the uphill side, inspectors placed 20 x 20 x 20-inch cardboard boxes on each chair, and fit each box with a plastic liner. The boxes were then filled with water. The volume of water in two boxes weighs approximately 400 pounds to simulate the weight of two people. With each container filled, the lift was operated through a full circuit. Hard stops were used to test cable strength and braking distance.
When the containers are originally set in the chairs, a small hole is cut in the cardboard. This exposes a small section of the plastic liner. When the testing is done, an inspector at the summit punctures the liner, and by the time the chairs reach the base, the containers are empty.
The system was also tested and passed for rollback and tower condensation cracks. As reported in our earlier piece on The Summit of Big Tupper, the unloading station’s concrete and steel is structurally sound, but many wooden sections needed repair.
Wayne Davison of D&D Artisans donated the carpentry required to shore up the wooden components of the lift, adding plywood reinforcement to the decks and replacing hand rails. The repairs are durable, but also temporary. There are plans to completely renovate the loading and unloading stations in the near future.
There was more good news for Big Tupper today — Lift 2 has also been certified for operation. Cliff Levers, Big Tupper’s Lift Manager, is excited: “This brings almost all of our most challenging terrain into play. Lake Ontario is running warm this year and we’re ready for snow.”